December 17, 2010

Kohli and his ODI exploits

Virat Kohli has shown that as an ODI batsman he is a notch higher than the other young contenders for India
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The last two years have been outstanding ones for Virat Kohli the ODI batsman. For some time now he has been one of several young players India have tried to fill one of their middle-order spots, but unlike some of the others, Kohli has gone ahead and grabbed his chances so emphatically that he is now one of the certainties in the starting XI.

Since the beginning of 2009, Kohli has scored 1320 runs at an average touching 49, thus making him one of the best ODI performers during this period. Among Indians, only MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir have scored more runs, while Kohli's average of 48.88 has been bettered by seven batsmen in all.

One of the most impressive aspects of Kohli's batting has been his ability to convert starts, and to go on and make big hundreds. In these last two years, three batsmen have scored more ODI centuries than Kohli's four - Tillakaratne Dilshan (seven), AB de Villiers (six) and Hashim Amla (five). In only 40 matches Kohli has already won four Man-of-the-Mach awards, which isn't a bad rate of notching up these awards.

Batsmen with highest ODI averages since Jan 2009
Batsman ODIs Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s
AB de Villiers 33 1726 66.38 97.79 6/ 10
Sachin Tendulkar 23 1176 61.89 99.15 4/ 3
Hashim Amla 27 1538 61.52 93.38 5/ 9
MS Dhoni 47 1798 59.93 83.24 3/ 12
Tillakaratne Dilshan 39 1921 53.36 101.10 7/ 6
Jacques Kallis 24 1131 51.40 85.55 1/ 11
Eoin Morgan 34 1198 49.91 90.00 3/ 7
Virat Kohli 35 1320 48.88 84.94 4/ 9
Michael Clarke 42 1645 48.38 73.83 2/ 13
Michael Hussey 57 1991 47.40 91.12 0/ 17

One of the most impressive aspects of the way Kohli has shaped up has been his handling of the middle overs. That's a period when batsmen are expected to rotate the strike, play risk-free cricket, and yet score at a good clip. Kohli has managed all of those aspects pretty well, which is what makes him such a good No.3 batsman.

Between overs 16 and 40, Kohli has scored 867 runs from 960 balls, for an average of 61.92 and a run-rate of 5.41 per over. Moreover, of those 960 balls, he hasn't scored off only 412, which is a very low percentage of 42.92. Among batsmen who've scored at least 750 runs in the middle overs, only de Villiers has a lower dot-ball percentage (36.75). In terms of averages too Kohli is right up there, with only three batsmen having a higher average.

Batsmen with the highest averages in the middle overs (16 to 40)
Batsman Runs Dismissals Average Run rate Dot-ball%
AB de Villiers 1392 15 92.80 5.94 36.75
MS Dhoni 1305 19 68.68 4.75 47.05
Michael Hussey 1227 19 64.57 4.82 44.01
Virat Kohli 867 14 61.92 5.41 42.92
Eoin Morgan 813 15 54.20 4.95 51.83
Suresh Raina 791 15 52.73 5.78 44.09
Paul Collingwood 935 19 49.21 4.71 50.17
Cameron White 994 21 47.33 4.35 52.81

A stand-out features of Kohli's short career so far has been the manner in which he has handled pressure, especially the pressure of run-chases. In the 23 innings when he has batted second in ODIs, Kohli averages 60.35, at a strike rate of almost 84. Some of his most memorable performances have come when India have been confronted with tough run-chases: at Eden Gardens against Sri Lanka a year back, India were struggling at 23 for 2 chasing 316, when Kohli scored 107 and combined with Gambhir to take India to victory. A couple of months back against Australia he was at it again, scoring 118 - his highest ODI score - to help India overcome a run-chase of 290 after they'd lost their first two wickets for only 35. Of the four centuries he has scored, three have come when batting second.

When batting first he averages only 30.20, which is almost exactly half his average when chasing. However, there are indications he is improving there as well - his last innings when batting first was 105, against New Zealand three weeks ago.

In the last two years, Kohli's average when batting second is one of the best, with only de Villiers and Gambhir doing better.

Highest averages in run-chases since Jan 2009 (Qual: 600 runs)
Batsman Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s
AB de Villiers 15 698 77.55 96.27 2/ 4
Gautam Gambhir 20 1095 68.43 94.80 3/ 7
Virat Kohli 19 958 63.86 86.30 3/ 7
Tillakaratne Dilshan 17 856 57.06 110.59 4/ 1
MS Dhoni 19 671 55.91 77.66 1/ 5
Eoin Morgan 23 836 55.73 87.26 2/ 5
Brendan Taylor 16 722 55.53 81.48 2/ 5
Shane Watson 17 730 52.14 81.38 2/ 3

Over the last two years India have tried out a number of young batsmen or allrounders to fill in some of their middle-order slots, and with his consistent performances Kohli has clearly gone a few paces ahead of his competitors. Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik and Murali Vijay have been among those who've fallen behind and failed to make the most of their chances. Kohli, on the other hand, has done enough to earn for himself a regular place in the first XI of the Indian one-day team. The next challenge for him will be to break into the Test side. He'll surely get an opportunity, given the age of the current middle-order stalwarts and the recent failures of Suresh Raina. How he handles those opportunities will determine if Kohli can take his international career to the next level.

Indian batsmen in ODIs in the last two years
Batsman Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s
Virat Kohli 32 1320 48.88 84.94 4/ 9
Suresh Raina 42 1236 38.62 99.27 1/ 8
Rohit Sharma 21 606 35.64 81.78 2/ 1
Ravindra Jadeja 22 535 31.47 76.97 0/ 4
Yusuf Pathan 21 432 30.85 110.48 1/ 1
Dinesh Karthik 24 678 30.81 77.04 0/ 3
Murali Vijay 8 178 22.25 64.96 0/ 0

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • arnavred on December 20, 2010, 11:17 GMT

    I think Kohli gifted with technique.Has lots of potential.he should be ready to take Dravid's shoes in tests after his retirements.I think he can replace the great Wall. Kohli can shift gears while batting.He is a Good Player.Lets hope he remains for a longer time ...

  • on December 19, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    What Cabinet said, why there wasn't a similar article about de Villiers would surprise me if not for the obvious Indian bias Cricinfo has taken since awful, awful ESPN has taken over.

  • cabinet96 on December 18, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    What this really shows is how good Ab de Villiers is

  • on December 18, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    He can do even better if he use his brain.But for now he has a big head up on his shoulders than a brain.

  • on December 18, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    Send him to Centurion to get hustled by Steyn & Morkel...then we'd know how 'quality' player he is!

  • Rahulbose on December 18, 2010, 4:01 GMT

    Wow plenty of batsmen with over 60 average in ODIs.

  • akshay4india on December 17, 2010, 22:25 GMT

    For people that have said this data is accurate, this article points out that Kohli is the best INDIAN young player over the last two years. So whether they played only 'minows' or in home conditions, the comparison between Kohli and other youngsters in the ODI team for India is fair and reasonable.

  • on December 17, 2010, 22:10 GMT

    the ironic thing about this articule is that he hasnt topped any of these stats,and doesnt even come close to topping the stats,from the perspective of taking young indian talent in mind this articule is really pretty bogus.Not too long ago there were articules about SK raina,then before that rohit sharma being touted as the savior.Lets just face it that until one of these guys actually becomes mentally stable to the longer games then the problem with who the next best thing is will be resolved,otherwise they all hav around about the same talent but expressed in different ways with sk raina looking the most destructive,rohit looking like the guy that should be the next middle order indian great(unfortunatly that isnt the case in most actual circumstances) and virat being the most balanced in attack and defense.Lets face it,india is over hyped to a degree that its difficult to praise them at all,mind u most of my friends detest indias overhyping factor,i praise what i see on the pitch.

  • KTKAndy on December 17, 2010, 20:26 GMT

    Virat has long way to go...where Raina is now.

  • second on December 17, 2010, 19:43 GMT

    Too early to say against vijay. He is best player in test matches. Still he is good odi , t20 player

  • arnavred on December 20, 2010, 11:17 GMT

    I think Kohli gifted with technique.Has lots of potential.he should be ready to take Dravid's shoes in tests after his retirements.I think he can replace the great Wall. Kohli can shift gears while batting.He is a Good Player.Lets hope he remains for a longer time ...

  • on December 19, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    What Cabinet said, why there wasn't a similar article about de Villiers would surprise me if not for the obvious Indian bias Cricinfo has taken since awful, awful ESPN has taken over.

  • cabinet96 on December 18, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    What this really shows is how good Ab de Villiers is

  • on December 18, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    He can do even better if he use his brain.But for now he has a big head up on his shoulders than a brain.

  • on December 18, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    Send him to Centurion to get hustled by Steyn & Morkel...then we'd know how 'quality' player he is!

  • Rahulbose on December 18, 2010, 4:01 GMT

    Wow plenty of batsmen with over 60 average in ODIs.

  • akshay4india on December 17, 2010, 22:25 GMT

    For people that have said this data is accurate, this article points out that Kohli is the best INDIAN young player over the last two years. So whether they played only 'minows' or in home conditions, the comparison between Kohli and other youngsters in the ODI team for India is fair and reasonable.

  • on December 17, 2010, 22:10 GMT

    the ironic thing about this articule is that he hasnt topped any of these stats,and doesnt even come close to topping the stats,from the perspective of taking young indian talent in mind this articule is really pretty bogus.Not too long ago there were articules about SK raina,then before that rohit sharma being touted as the savior.Lets just face it that until one of these guys actually becomes mentally stable to the longer games then the problem with who the next best thing is will be resolved,otherwise they all hav around about the same talent but expressed in different ways with sk raina looking the most destructive,rohit looking like the guy that should be the next middle order indian great(unfortunatly that isnt the case in most actual circumstances) and virat being the most balanced in attack and defense.Lets face it,india is over hyped to a degree that its difficult to praise them at all,mind u most of my friends detest indias overhyping factor,i praise what i see on the pitch.

  • KTKAndy on December 17, 2010, 20:26 GMT

    Virat has long way to go...where Raina is now.

  • second on December 17, 2010, 19:43 GMT

    Too early to say against vijay. He is best player in test matches. Still he is good odi , t20 player

  • second on December 17, 2010, 19:30 GMT

    Still to early to say against vijay in odi. As of now he is not got any 50 or 100. But still he get 22 average. Vijay is best player in test. He may be good in odi or t20

  • kishorecv on December 17, 2010, 19:25 GMT

    Just like the Indian team that was No 1 due to playing against minnows and in home pitches, Virat Koli will be sorted out on the pitches of S.A/Aus/Eng. That will be the last of this flat track minnows bully. Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel will sort him out just like they have sorted Gambhir, Raina and Laxman, to an extent.

  • VickGower on December 17, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    The analysis is junk, just like India's numero uno status in test, until it has data that spans other continents. The effort could have been palatable had you confined your analysis to how Kohli compares to other upcoming Indian batsmen... But you had to do these other tables which look very sophisticated but are simply an exercise in futility.

  • ra8ul on December 17, 2010, 17:44 GMT

    just one simple question with which countries he has such an average bangaldesh,zimbawae,srilanka No quality pace attack if u play spin well its enough.

    Thnaks but no thanks.

  • MALIKKALEEM on December 17, 2010, 17:43 GMT

    I dont think so tht he is a good form of player pls check his average against big teams SAFRICA,AUSTRAILIA,ENGLAND,PAKISTAN,SRILANKA HE ALL MADE HIS RUNS AGAIN BANGLADESH,ZIMBABWE N LIKE OTHER NATIONS I DONT THINK SO

  • on December 17, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    pujara is going to be the next tendulkar! i dnt know why india stifling him, jus like VVS laxman in the one day arena

  • thiagaraj005 on December 17, 2010, 17:33 GMT

    Kohli reminds Yuvaraj in his early days.He should not carried away by the shower of praises on his way.He should take Sachin,Dravid and Laxman to handle these situations.If he does then no one can stop this talent from reaching the top.Meanwhile Rohit is so gifted class act way ahead of Raina, But he has no luck yet to make those big runs on board.

  • raviscreen on December 17, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    I have just now written that Virat Kohli should have been in the flight to South Africa against a different review about India not playing any warm up game before the first test match. I have read several times as to how well Virat Kohli plays against bounce and swing and I have always believed that he was good test prospect. It is still not very late for the selectors to decide on Virah Kohli as a test prospect in the current series.

  • The_big_j on December 17, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    What's his avg outside of india? Oh... less than 25.

    Flat pitch warriors!

  • on December 17, 2010, 13:31 GMT

    Kohli certainly has performed well, but I think what this Numbers Game column shows most clearly is how phenomenally well AB de Villiers has been playing.

  • srini_jana on December 17, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    Dhoni's strike rate of 83.24, considering the fact that he almost comes at six, the numbers are mind boggling. Any food for thought guys?

  • manksh_99 on December 17, 2010, 12:25 GMT

    Before showering so much of praise and declaring kohli as one of the best ODI batsman for last two years, not only in india but also among the best in the world, kindly consider that he has played most of his matches in flat sub-continent pitches. Agreed that, that rules would apply to other indians in fray, i.e. gambhir, dhoni and tendulkar. But these three have shown their caliber on almost all the surfaces, whereas kohli has yet to prove himself outside sub-continent. If he can replicate his success or for that matter even if he can show the same class and temperament outside, then we can definitely say that yes, india have got a real good youngster.

  • on December 17, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    Kohli's transformation to big league comes from the fact that he has picked up the art of staying at wicket.He used to throw his wicket off by hitting on top quite often and his correction to play on grass has helped him immensely like Gambhir. We have the likes of Ajinkya Rahane knocking at the doors and i firmly believe he should have been given a look in in place of Vijay for the One day squad.Vijay & Pujara have enough room to prove themselves now in Test squad.Rohit & Jadeja seem to take things too lightly and they need to see and watch someone like Dravid who still takes his game so seriously at 37.

  • stormy16 on December 17, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    Indias batting reserves come in stupid proportions it seems that this guy cannot get a test. The point is brought home when Rohit and Vijay cant get a look in either and Pujara has run past these two and he appeared just the other day!! This is sounding alot like Aus 10 years ago when guys like Law, Lehman and Sydons couldnt get a game despite being world class players.

  • lvli on December 17, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    guys...itzz really grt to have such good bench strength,,,i think uthappa is not given enough chances,,,,but how can he get any chance when guys like vijay,karthik,rohit sharma and even yusuf pathan now are fighting for two places in this line up...until last two series played by india...evn yuvraj was not certain to hold on to his position,,,it z so good to see such great competition and indian team is thus reaping benefits of each and every player standing up when needed and performing so nicely,,,hats off to you guys,,,hope u continue the good work in africa and continue the unbeaten era...

  • Kothandaram on December 17, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    Virat Kohli has come a long way and can command a place in the team on the weight of his performances. good to see youngsters doing well. Virat along with Raina, rohit, Vijay and Pujara is the future of the indian batting engine

  • on December 17, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    surprised to see rohit just behind raina in the last table ..think its because we all expected so much from him ... anyways kholi is doing good .... hope he continues ... but no idea why RCB wanted to retain him ... 'd have uttapah in my team ahead of kholi in t20's .. my opinion though

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  • on December 17, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    surprised to see rohit just behind raina in the last table ..think its because we all expected so much from him ... anyways kholi is doing good .... hope he continues ... but no idea why RCB wanted to retain him ... 'd have uttapah in my team ahead of kholi in t20's .. my opinion though

  • Kothandaram on December 17, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    Virat Kohli has come a long way and can command a place in the team on the weight of his performances. good to see youngsters doing well. Virat along with Raina, rohit, Vijay and Pujara is the future of the indian batting engine

  • lvli on December 17, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    guys...itzz really grt to have such good bench strength,,,i think uthappa is not given enough chances,,,,but how can he get any chance when guys like vijay,karthik,rohit sharma and even yusuf pathan now are fighting for two places in this line up...until last two series played by india...evn yuvraj was not certain to hold on to his position,,,it z so good to see such great competition and indian team is thus reaping benefits of each and every player standing up when needed and performing so nicely,,,hats off to you guys,,,hope u continue the good work in africa and continue the unbeaten era...

  • stormy16 on December 17, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    Indias batting reserves come in stupid proportions it seems that this guy cannot get a test. The point is brought home when Rohit and Vijay cant get a look in either and Pujara has run past these two and he appeared just the other day!! This is sounding alot like Aus 10 years ago when guys like Law, Lehman and Sydons couldnt get a game despite being world class players.

  • on December 17, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    Kohli's transformation to big league comes from the fact that he has picked up the art of staying at wicket.He used to throw his wicket off by hitting on top quite often and his correction to play on grass has helped him immensely like Gambhir. We have the likes of Ajinkya Rahane knocking at the doors and i firmly believe he should have been given a look in in place of Vijay for the One day squad.Vijay & Pujara have enough room to prove themselves now in Test squad.Rohit & Jadeja seem to take things too lightly and they need to see and watch someone like Dravid who still takes his game so seriously at 37.

  • manksh_99 on December 17, 2010, 12:25 GMT

    Before showering so much of praise and declaring kohli as one of the best ODI batsman for last two years, not only in india but also among the best in the world, kindly consider that he has played most of his matches in flat sub-continent pitches. Agreed that, that rules would apply to other indians in fray, i.e. gambhir, dhoni and tendulkar. But these three have shown their caliber on almost all the surfaces, whereas kohli has yet to prove himself outside sub-continent. If he can replicate his success or for that matter even if he can show the same class and temperament outside, then we can definitely say that yes, india have got a real good youngster.

  • srini_jana on December 17, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    Dhoni's strike rate of 83.24, considering the fact that he almost comes at six, the numbers are mind boggling. Any food for thought guys?

  • on December 17, 2010, 13:31 GMT

    Kohli certainly has performed well, but I think what this Numbers Game column shows most clearly is how phenomenally well AB de Villiers has been playing.

  • The_big_j on December 17, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    What's his avg outside of india? Oh... less than 25.

    Flat pitch warriors!

  • raviscreen on December 17, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    I have just now written that Virat Kohli should have been in the flight to South Africa against a different review about India not playing any warm up game before the first test match. I have read several times as to how well Virat Kohli plays against bounce and swing and I have always believed that he was good test prospect. It is still not very late for the selectors to decide on Virah Kohli as a test prospect in the current series.