Aakash Chopra
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Aakash Chopra looks at various aspects of cricket from a player's perspective

The Kohli method

His numbers are phenomenal, and that's thanks largely to his ability to make a plan and stick to it

Aakash Chopra

September 13, 2012

Comments: 93 | Text size: A | A

Virat Kohli played another impressive innings, India v England, 4th ODI, Mumbai, October 23, 2011
Kohli: steady starter © AFP
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When they first donned the Indian colours, the likes of Ms Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh were self-assured, resilient, fiercely talented and more. Today, though, Virat Kohli seems to have outmoded his predecessors in a manner that has made him the face of Indian cricket's next generation. He has scored 13 centuries in 90 ODI matches. Those are phenomenal numbers by any yardstick. Look closer, in a comparative framework, and the numbers hit harder. Kumara Sangakkara, for instance, has scored 14 hundreds, 11 of those from No. 3 or higher, in 333 ODIs. Virender Sehwag has scored 15 in 249 matches, and Gautam Gambhir has 11 in 139. These stats, striking as they are, tell us a thing or two about the sort of prospect Kohli is for Indian cricket.

If one goes by the exterior - the spiky hair, tattoos, the swagger and arrogance of a confident young man, Kohli epitomises 21st century Indian youth. But the way he bats, especially in the first half of each innings, he seems the antithesis of how young cricketers in India like to bat in this day and age of T20 cricket. These days most young men prefer to go after the bowling right from the beginning, and to keep hitting it till they last. It takes your breath away when it comes off, and looks woeful when it doesn't, but taking a bit of a risk seems to be the new way of living.

Kohli, on the contrary, is old-fashioned when it comes to constructing his innings. Regardless of his personal form, familiarity with the attack and the conditions, he always starts slowly, albeit confidently. At the beginning of an innings, every batsman is slightly edgy and likes to get bat on ball and score a few to get going. This urge to get on with the game is even stronger if you are in good form. It must take immense self-control for Kohli to resist that temptation every time he walks out to bat these days, and to stick to his original plan of biding time.

His self-control at the beginning of every innings is the primary reason for his consistency. Exercising this self-control would be a lot easier for someone who doesn't have as many shots as Kohli does, which makes his self-denial more creditable. His ability to plan meticulously and then diligently follow the plan is the common thread in most of his innings.

Conventional wisdom suggests that the bigger the arc one's bat creates, the more power one generates. The arc starts from the top of the backlift and finishes with the follow-through after playing the shot. The best way to ensure a bigger arc is to allow the top hand to remain in control for as long as possible and extend the arms fully (elbow not bent) after playing the shot. Kohli's bat-swing, however, is not quite how the coaching manuals say it ought to be. He has a relatively short backlift, and an even shorter follow-through. But he generates phenomenal bat speed by flicking his wrists at the point of contact, which in turn generates immense power. The flip side of such a bat-swing is that he is a bottom-hand-dominated player. Once again, though, by delaying his strokes, he has found a way to be equally fluent through the off side.

How Kohli accelerates in ODIs

  • Overs 1-15: Faced 1728 balls in 68 innings (average of 25 balls per innings) and scored at a run rate of 4.12
  • Overs 16-30: Faced 1813 balls in 55 innings (average of 33 balls per innings) and scored at run rate of 5.00.
  • Overs 31-40: Faced 754 balls in 32 innings (average of 23 balls per innings) and scored at 7.01.
  • Overs 41-50: In the final ten overs (played 17 innings), he has faced 12 balls on average per innings and scored at 9.07.

When I saw Kohli for the first time, I was a little sceptical about his short front-foot stride. To make matters more complicated, that short stride was going far too across. While the short and across front-foot stride allowed him to whip balls pitched on middle through the on side, it also made him slightly susceptible to full-pitched swinging deliveries, or when the ball deviated appreciably off the pitch.

During one of our conversations while playing for Delhi, I told him about my observations. He assured me that he had found a way around it, which was by allowing the ball to come to him. I saw merit in his method of dealing with the shortcoming, but I wasn't fully convinced that it would work at the highest level.

By scoring 13 ODI hundreds while batting at No. 3, he has certainly proved that his solution works just fine. It also proves that technique is slightly overrated at times. In fact, Kohli's method of overcoming his technical deficiency is his biggest strength: playing very late. By allowing the ball to come to him, he is able to find the gaps more often. Playing the ball right under his eyes also ensures that he misses fewer deliveries, and so the perils of the short front-foot stride are taken care of.

He may still find it slightly difficult when the ball is pitched up in seaming conditions, but considering the way he has evolved as a batsman, I don't have any reasons to believe that Kohli won't find a way around that too.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan's 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

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Posted by DEV_ME on (September 16, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

Why cant people read an article, understandand say thank you ? Why do the engage in Mud-Slinging; going one step beyond - people actually have the audacity to challenge / comment / state the technicality of batting / cricket - which sounds exactly like what is said on TV by commentators, the likes shastri, Rameez etc. Aakash is a player of the game at the highest level and understands the game much better than anyone commenting here. One dosent have to hit 100 centuries to understand the game, and if that is the yardstick than what about greats like Ramakant Achrekar Sir ?!?! Isnt he the same man to whom Sachin approaches even today ? John Wright, Gary Kirsten, McDermott, might not world records to their name, but they know the game very well. So guys - take a break and appreciate / learn from what is written.

Posted by 777aditya on (September 16, 2012, 6:18 GMT)

Akash Chopra certainly seems to be the think twice & then speak kind. Hailing from Delhi, he must have watched Sehwag, Gambhir, and Kohli (even Unmukt Chand) a lot earlier than most. His balanced opinion certainly reflects in every article and make it a good read for purists. To cut the long story short, if Chopra says Kohli is good, he is (we always knew it, of course)!

Posted by   on (September 15, 2012, 9:37 GMT)

Just creating batting tracks or spinning tracks and saying we are great is no point...... shameful Gautam gambhir manjrekar dhoni should not open there mouth.........gautam gambhir has played only against the poor teams and the pitches that are either have deteriorated or been produced flat to assist india...... australia tour they ve got 2 flat tracks against a struggling aussie team but they themselves humiliated...poor to see indian fans supporting this team who can play only against pathetic attacks......

Posted by Nampally on (September 14, 2012, 21:25 GMT)

Aakash, that is an excellent analysis of Kohli's batting stats. + his technique & footwork+improvisation. In Overs 41-50, Kohli's S/R is 9 runs/over. This is where Dhoni & Yuvraj jointly failed Vs. NZ by getting just <7 runs/over in death overs!. That is the main reason why Kohli is a Match winner. My second comment is about his batting technique, especially the short foot forward. This appears to originate from Sehwag & Tendulkar who both move forward to play wristy shots towards leg side. This requires very good eye sight & bat-eye coordination & timing. Rohit Sharma has been falling a victim to the same stroke due to missing one or more of these requisites & Sachin has been LBW as well as bowled recently on this stroke. Kohli's improvisation is commendable & I also saw Amla playing this stroke. Kohli is Mr. Consistency for possessing all these attributes & executing them so well.One century/7 ODI's is magnificient!. No wonder Kohli is a worthy succesor to Sachin & Rahul.Bravo Virat!

Posted by   on (September 14, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

@trueanalyst - I expected this answer. But read my comments completely. "As long he is in good form" he can middle it. Its all timing now just like shehwag. Once he gets old and loses a little bit of form it would be a trouble.

Posted by maddy20 on (September 14, 2012, 13:29 GMT)

@Street_Cricket I would like to suggest a few more for you folks - "Lessons form a torrid tour of India", "Spinners or nightmares" , "The great who averaged 23 in India", "How to be useless against spin", "Despicable vs Spin" "How to get bowled out for under 50 in SA and still claim we are great" etc.,

Posted by rustin on (September 14, 2012, 12:34 GMT)

@Ted Osborne @Thomas_Ridge

Kohli's overseas record for you(only in Australia,England and SA vs any team). Just the two hundreds but a very decent number of runs and an excellent average of just over 50.

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/253802.html?class=2;filter=advanced;home_or_away=2;home_or_away=3;host=1;host=2;host=3;orderby=start;template=results;type=batting;view=innings

Posted by dork29 on (September 14, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

Akash has written a lot about bat swings and front foot positionings. That is too technical and like he rightly pointed out, technique is over-rated. It is advisory and not mandatory. The biggest thing about Kohliist the price he puts on his wicket. The bowler has to EARN Kohli's wicket. No loose shots, no flamboyance. Also, like somebody pointed out he is a match-winner unlike Sachin. The reason is, mentally he is very strong. He is not as talented as Rohit Sharma - anyone who disagrees does not know cricket. Sachin lacks mental strength, though his ability is superhuman. That is the main reason why he has been a lousy captain. Kohli on th eother hand, would be a fantastic captain.That said, Kohli is constantly improving. He has learned the downside of high living very early in life and is seeking to improve all the time. He has the temperament of Saurav. He can be deconstructed within no time by a quality opposition, due to his lack of innate talent. He is the face of Indian cricket.

Posted by trueanalyst on (September 14, 2012, 11:45 GMT)

@praveenbokka you may be kidding.I don't think You will get anyone better than Lasith Malinga for bowling fast yorkers and see how he toys with him

Posted by   on (September 14, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

Ok this is coming from a Pakistani Fan...This guy is gonna break all the records that Sachin has made, and to me he is the best batsman in the worlds best batting line, Brilliant Batsman, and a match winning one , unlike Sachin. !

Posted by amit180171 on (September 14, 2012, 6:52 GMT)

out of his 13 centuries only 2 are out of the subcontinent; so it proves all abt his ability and performance all around the world..

Posted by   on (September 14, 2012, 6:01 GMT)

As far as comparisons with Amla is concerned I think it is too early, both of them had a different starting points to their career as has AB devillers. But all 3 are moving towards the same destination. Amla started as a proper test batsman, technically very sound but initially he had trouble increasing tempo of the game, which he has corrected recently. Where as Kohli came up from limited overs cricket and has got far fewer opportunities in Test cricket. We must not forget that Kohli has just played 2 test series abroad but has played 90 ODI, where as Amla has played more tests, thus got more opportunities to learn. AB Devillers is also the one for the future. He is already a top batsmen but destined to do great stuff. Presence of Amla and AB augurs well for SA. India also need another young batsman in this league (pls do not put Rahane, Rohit and Pujara in this league for now, talented they are but not yet proven, just wait and watch)

Posted by   on (September 14, 2012, 5:47 GMT)

People who think Kohli is the best are not doing any good service to his batting atall. He is just 90 ODI old and have long way to go. He should surly become much better than what he is at the moment. Comparisons with other top batsmen are futile, They all have played in various conditions and as any top player would tell you longevity is the key. Any player should be termed great only after he has played for around a decade. That will expose him to a variety of conditions and many ups and downs in personal form. As for Kohli I do not think there is any doubt about his talent. More than the 100s, what is more heartening is the way he learnt quickly about his batting. His first test tour against WI was horrible. But in Aus he constantly evolved ending up scoring a 100 in the last innings. That shows hes a thinking cricketer, always analysing his game and striving to improve. That is all we can take away at the moment.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 21:41 GMT)

Way to early for anyone to compare Kohli with Amla, Sanga or kallis at the moment. Amla has scored runs against all oppositions, in different conditions and in all three formats. His batting average in three format and the records he has amassed in there for everyone to see. I think we will be able to judge how good of a player Kohli is in few years time. Anyway, as a Cricket fan I enjoy his batting. We should also be mature enough to support all Cricket players, regardless of that person's nationality. Cheers.

Posted by hhillbumper on (September 13, 2012, 20:51 GMT)

love the Indian fans humility.

Posted by shahzaibq on (September 13, 2012, 20:34 GMT)

Kohli is no longer a "prospect" for India! He is veteran of 90 ODIs, and enough Tests and T20s to be considered a mainstay in the batting lineup. He is already established, and now all we need to do is sit back to see if becomes a great!

Posted by Street_Cricket on (September 13, 2012, 20:27 GMT)

I just wiki'ed it " An article by Aakash Chopra was featured in the 2012 book Rahul Dravid: Timeless Steel ".

I want someone to write an article about akash Chopra - I have some suggestions too.

" Useless batsmen India has produced" " Sitting Duck" " Willow which never kissed the leather"

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 19:43 GMT)

I agree 100% with Akash. I am always worried about his little step across. He can be an LBW candidate for a fast inswinging yorkers and in foreign conditions. Great players like Inzamam and Kevin Peterson had/has problems walking across. Kevin was a sitting duck when visiting pakistan with that step. He recently adjusted it a bit after DRS was introduced. As long as Kohli is in form and timing well he should be fine. Anytime if he is out of form, that technique would cause lot of trouble.

But I definitely like his temperament. Awesome talent for Team India.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (September 13, 2012, 19:38 GMT)

@Ted Osborne and thomas_ridge: My grandfather could compete with Watson and Starc and Mitchell !!! How dare you name these average bystanders as 'decent' cricketers ?!!! Give me better names will ya dearies ?! Too bad Ponting was the last of the decent Aussie cricketers. Won't be seeing anyone like him for a long time so it would seem.

Posted by ansram on (September 13, 2012, 19:12 GMT)

Amla is currently a tad better than Kohli. But Kohli is much younger to Amla, so it is likely that he would be a far better player than Amla in future. He has been learning very quickly and his transformation last year has been unbeleivable. Kohli will run into poor form some time or the other after this superb year, and his ability to bounce back will decide whether he wil go on to become an ATG player.

Posted by Hardy1 on (September 13, 2012, 19:10 GMT)

Kohli, Amla, ABDV & Michael Clarke, the best batsmen in the world right now.

Posted by samincolumbia on (September 13, 2012, 17:58 GMT)

@thomas_ridge - The author forgot to include that Phil Hughes is the best in the business...Sorry. Happy now?

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (September 13, 2012, 17:29 GMT)

Good job Kohli keep it up and play great innings because cricket is fun when you are batting. great to watch.

Posted by CharlesDS on (September 13, 2012, 16:56 GMT)

virat is better than bradman or viv ..... the greatest there was ...there is ...and ever will be...all hail king virat.... basher of all teams without great fast bowlers from the past....thank god that cricket is a batsmans game now...we killed off all bowlers and test cricket ... now mediocre batsmen can dominate.....hurray for dhoni and yuvi and raina and kohli.... greatest batsmen to ever live....gauti -tendy and sehwag pls move over and give chances to the bang bang players... the true cricketers of the 22nd century

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

@Thomas_Ridge...lol,whatever...despite having the best team in the world during the reigns n likes of warne n mcgrath...aus has failed to conquer what they called "final frontier"...if u would have rememberd the kolkata game u might hav some idea about indian batting and the magic that we believe.and about bouncy pitch u were unable to control vvs xcept the series b4 he retiered...but we indians neva make comments til sm1 points us coz v respect whether dey r aus,wi,sa or pak...dats y bret lee loves to come here again n again...we love ur team off field nt onfield....

Posted by maddy20 on (September 13, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

Well AUs and Eng have been shown their place in India on the last few tours, the former whitewashed 2-0 when they last visited and beaten 2-0 in the 4 test series before that. If you prefer to call Aus and Eng minnows, then I would not disagree with you. Also the guy has managed to score a hundred and missed out on another by 9 runs on his first tour of Aus. Regardless the pathetic Aus and the dethroned English are in for some nice spit roasting when they come here. Our spinners are licking their lips in anticipation.

Posted by iluvtest on (September 13, 2012, 16:06 GMT)

@Thomas_Ridge Dude when was the last time Aussies won a test series in India? We have no fast bowlers. Flat tracks. Still I don't remember any Aussie series wins. So do you agree that your side is worthless because they could not conquer India in India. It is the same with any country.Home advantage.

Posted by Expansion on (September 13, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

Kohli has reached his peak form in very quick a period of time.I would like to see if he is out of form how he would bounce back.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (September 13, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

Aakash you say that he see merit in Kohli's method by allowing the ball to come to him in seaming conditions. But this is one of two ways to play swing bowling - play the shot as as late possible to allow for the movement. The other way is a much riskier strategy and that is to stand well outside the crease negating the effect of the swing earlier or forcing the bowler to adjust his length ie shorter and therefore hopefully his rhythm and taking lbw out of the equation for height. You've also mentioned his short front foot stride. This may be an initial movement but at the time he plays he stroke his feet are in a textbook position. The only technical aspect that could be an issue is the bottom hand flick at the point of impact which I've not noticed. But when playing against pace why would a batsman want to generate power with a high backlift when he should be using the pace of the ball to his advantage. It's against the spinners that a higher backlift can be advantageous.

Posted by akdhesi76 on (September 13, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

Kohli's a good player. Doing India proud, does the basics well. Rohit Sharma could well to learn from Kohli applies himself. Raina's got better over the last year or so. They just need to be able to playthe non-asian conditions better. Why not a summer in english country cricket. It did wonders for Zaheer Khan at Worcs. if you look back in history, the big names in Pakistani cricket all played country cricket. Didn't do them any harm. Or is it because they have no time due to such a busy international schedule? Or is it just about the money and not wanting to be masters in all conditions.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (September 13, 2012, 15:21 GMT)

I followed Kohli closely is his first 2 tests series home and away against the WI and the ODI series against Eng last year and didn't think he had the technical or mental game game to play at international level. Then came Aus and he had a different mindset and was the only Indian batsman that looked comfortable considering there were the likes of Dravid, VVS, Tendulkar and Sehwag who had all had some kind success against the Aussies in the past. I was disappointed for Kohli that he couldn't convert some impressive 50's into centuries during the tests. I disagree with Aakash's comments re technical deficiencies - he looks solid defensively, gets into position early making good use of his feet and can execute strokes both sides of the wicket due his timing. He's a good prospect and hopefully he can carry his ODI form into tests however as a strokeplayer he will rely on the openers to due their job of seeing the shine off the new ball so when he comes in he can play his shots.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 15:20 GMT)

When Virat Kohlu is at the crease, I can rest assured knowing that the match is in control...that is how much confidence he inspires in me. He might not be as elegant as Rohit Sharma, but what matters are the runs, and he scores lots of them. He will surely be a player of Sachin's stature, if not greater.

Posted by bigdhonifan on (September 13, 2012, 15:19 GMT)

To all English and Aussie fans... Leave starc, Johnson and James... your Cook or ponting wont read my Off Spin here in India. So we all know what they will do against Aswin, Ojha and Bhajji. Fact is Indian batsman scored much centuries in Australia and England than they scored here in India. So who is better?

Posted by jasonpete on (September 13, 2012, 14:53 GMT)

@thomas_ridge, did you forgot the last two series results in india against your team (you are admitting aussies are minnows)? It's 2-0 ,2-0. No one is saying kohli is best batsmen.He is young and talented .He had a standout performances in aus and eng even though its his first tour there and he will earn more by experience.If you can't accept talent,then it's too much to expect from you.

Posted by Kingsagar2thi on (September 13, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

Well Mr.Akash you should have also taken the better ones like Hashim Amla to compare not just the bad ones. Amla made 10 centuries in just 60 ODI innings @ the average of 60!! A silent performer. Of course VKolhli is the best in business at the moment for Indian team

Posted by sweetspot on (September 13, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

Looks like there are a few Amla Vs. Kohli comparisons here. Too early to conclusively put one on top of the other permanently, but for the moment, without a question of doubt in my mind, I'd put Amla way higher than Kohli.

Posted by Munafis810 on (September 13, 2012, 14:23 GMT)

I have been a fan of Rohit Sharma initially and now I am his biggest critic since he has not managed to do justice to his talent despite so many chances. But having said that the talent exists and I have feeling he might strike it big in this T20 Worldcup and very soon be talked of on par with Kohli in terms of Indian batting. Sure Amla is better than both today but these kids are less experienced than Amla who himself was failure for first initial years based on his performances when you take the potential he had in first place.Steyn, Ajmal ,Attapatu and many others failed for a long time before realizing their potential and delivering the results. Hopefully for India's sake Rohit and tiwary start doing justice to their potential and along with Pujara and Kohli...Indian new fab 4 will score lots for India over next decade just like Ganguly,Dravid,10dulkar,VVS did in times gone by.

Posted by Munafis810 on (September 13, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

Most of Kohli's batting is not slogging. His strke rate is always close to 100 but we hardly see him slogging or cross batted .His scoring stroke is usally a ground shot boundary and that makes him difficult to be dismissed. His brain farts are alslo very few compared to say Umar akmal or Dilshan or Warner and there lies his secret recipe for recent success

Posted by ms_cricketer on (September 13, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

@Thomas_Ridge im not even indian - but srsly you have to be kidding me. Check the stats, and you will see no one who has a great overseas record, so stop bashing up kohli. The incredible thing is not about how many hundreds he scores, but the matches he wins and pressure he sustains. Hundreds only mean something if they win you the match, otherwise they are just another stat.

Posted by Jeyarajpillai on (September 13, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

How nice it would be if other players like Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma etc can take a leaf out of Virat Kohli's method !!

Posted by InnocentGuy on (September 13, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

Wow, the stats on the side are brilliant!! Kohli goes from 4.12 to 5.00 to 7.01 to 9.07 ER.

Posted by g.narsimha on (September 13, 2012, 13:40 GMT)

ABDULSAMAD-14&CHONA - ITS VERY PLEASANT to see these coments from our bro across the border, my favourite player was INZY iliked him more than SACHIN what a player just single handedly won world cup for pak, now such class is rare , but talent ed players like, AMLAA, VIRAT, SOME EXTENT UM,ER AKMAL but i can understand why he is failing ,ARE TREAT TO WATCH .

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 13:37 GMT)

another flattrak bully for sure.to prove yur greatness u have to score regularly abroad

Posted by Naresh28 on (September 13, 2012, 13:32 GMT)

@ted_osborne here we go again. Just ask Chand, Greg and Ian Chappell. Indians can succeed overseas - U19 WC beat Oz in Oz. Indian cricket is in great hands apart from PACE BOWLING - we lost overseas due to this one factor. We have capable youngsters to replace our "old legends" in batting deprtment. We have spinners coming out. I predict ROHIT SHARMA as one who could light up this T20 WC

Posted by dariuscorny on (September 13, 2012, 13:32 GMT)

@Thomas_Ridge with the present state of Aus batting i can see Oz batsmen find themselves in pavilion within a blink of an eye when they tour India come feb-march.forget about starc,james,johnson coz these seamers need extreme bowler friendly conditions to excel,rest assured they will be smoked all over the park by the INDIANS

Posted by timus6778 on (September 13, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

one thing is for sure...aakash, you are a good expert

Posted by Chona on (September 13, 2012, 12:55 GMT)

Kohli is the next "Huge" thing to happen to Indian cricket after Sachin....I must say , I love watching him bat.....and remember I am a Cricket loving Pakistani......so talent of this man is beyond boundaries........simply simply love his batting.......................

Posted by amitgarg78 on (September 13, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

Good observations Aakash. You are among the few sane voices around. And some really hilarious arguments from fans. May be someone ought to do an analysis of all batsmen to see the home vs. away performances. Not that it will ever settle this flat track bully kind of nonsense.

Posted by abdulsamad14 on (September 13, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

to be fair he is an amaing player... im pakistani and i have to admit this guy looks good. Him and Azhar Ali, test legands of the future :)

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 12:15 GMT)

Kohli has a very sound technique and looks elegant while playing through the covers. He has all the prerequisites to become a great batsman. But he shouldn't let success get to him. He is young and still has a long way to go. By the looks of it he's already pretty proud of what he's achieved and not much bothered by what more he can do. The lad has got loads of talent. He needs to make sure that he plays to his true potential till the end.

Posted by tpjpower on (September 13, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

@Thomas Ridge: Wait till he faces Johnson? Seriously?

Posted by Simoc on (September 13, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

For my money this guy Kohli is the most exciting batsman in world cricket at present. It wouldn't be a surprise if he ends up around the best ever brigade in statistics. The ton he scored in his last innings in Oz was memorable.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

but,i think he has a better stride now a days considering all other Indian batsmen...

Posted by jasonpete on (September 13, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

@ Thomas _ridge, He already faced them and made a century against aussies in Australia in his first tour .May be you to need check stats or watch cricket more before posting here.

Posted by mathewjohn2176 on (September 13, 2012, 10:48 GMT)

@Ted Osborne,He played his first series in eng and australia and already scored 3 centuries both in test and odi.You are right Chris martin plays way better than your greatest batsmen after bradman ( ponting) in flat pitches.Looks like you care a lot about indian team rather than yours.good on you.keep up the good work ie continuous ranting.

Posted by Peter_Jones2014 on (September 13, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

@mercenary666. lol. Scoring a single century against Australia doesn't make him a great batsman. Well, maybe to you Indians it does.

Posted by Gopal321 on (September 13, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

22 years old and such awesome performances whether cursing, abusing who cares. Keep going Virat. Face Strac, James or Johnson, WHO WHO WHO??? what have they done? apart from getting injured. Remember Malinga VS Virat?

Posted by Peter_Jones2014 on (September 13, 2012, 10:43 GMT)

He has scored bulk of his runs on flat decks. Just check the stats. He averages just 34 in test and 51 in odi. let him play in foreign conditions, he will get a hiding.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 10:39 GMT)

me tooo think that kohli is undoubtedly a superhero not only to the indian but also to the the world cricket.he is good in his temperment and too shows super skills in his batting.the most exciting thing i find in him is that he plays malinga very well. it is to me the most fascinating part of him i m concerned about. i think he has more a less kept some calms these days ,we shouldn't forget.i m sure he will soon top the list.you rock kohli

Posted by mercenary666 on (September 13, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

@Ted...Kohli's records speak for themselves. As somebody rightly pointed it out, he has already scored a ton in England and two in Australia. In this era, in his age, he has by far the best technique. Flat wicket or not, this guy is the next gen of batting. The closest person to him in today's cricket is Hashim Amla, and not some Australian. So, sleep over it.

Posted by Munkeymomo on (September 13, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

Been a fan of Kohli's for awhile, I understand a lot of Indian fans do not like his attitude but this kid is seriously talented and a winner. Reminds me of an Aussie in his ruthless approach.

Posted by pr3m on (September 13, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

Wasn't Dravid playing late in Australia? We know what happened there. Kohli is in the prime of his life, let him play however he wants to as long as he can keep from getting bowled every 10 minutes.

Posted by NLS1 on (September 13, 2012, 10:05 GMT)

If he plays a season or two in county cricket, he will mature as a good allround batsman like great Rahul Dravid.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 10:01 GMT)

@ Ted Osborne: Australia is ranked 9th in the ICC T-20 ratings.Are you angry due to that...??? let me tell you, if you consider indian pitches flat and easy to bat, then why the visiting batsmen fail all the time???Not good enough.Virat kohli helped india score 320 against sri lanka within 37 overs... Do you guys also have flat pitches? I think you should watch more cricket before you comment on such things.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 9:57 GMT)

He only scored 2 centuries aboard..that's it. Even the likes of Chris Martin can score centuries in flat wickets. Start calling him a God, when he plays well everywhere, not just at home.

Posted by Arulan_Thomas on (September 13, 2012, 9:48 GMT)

Wait till he faces Strac, James or Johnson. He won't know what hit him, like most Indians.

Posted by vinayespn on (September 13, 2012, 9:22 GMT)

There are various parameters to label some person as the greatest in his field. Kohli is the greatest batsman in the world comparing to others of this era and his age.. I bet there is no better batsman of his age playing international cricket in all 3 formats.. We got to accept this and wish him luck.. Full credit to Aakash chopra for giving us an insight into Virat's early days..

Posted by Saksham197 on (September 13, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

@Ted Osborne.. Whichever country you can think of, just go see for yourself Virat Kohli's record against them. And talking about club level, do you even know what club level is? Indian batsmen have always been the best in the business. If Indian batsmen are club level then surely the batsmen in the rest of the world is still on street cricket. Talking about flat pitches, likes of your Watson, Ponting, Cook etc etc and the "heavy run getters" have disgusting records in the so-called "flat pitches" in India. Not even club cricketers then.

Anyhow, another very well written article by Aakash Chopra. In an age where every team is just lions of their own backyard, people like Kohli, Amla can prove to be just the thing required to start beating teams at their homes once again.

Posted by usman29 on (September 13, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

As a pakistani, i also like kohli but one thing is not gud for kohli that he shows some anger in his behaviour and on the other side amla is complete man.

Posted by sharj33l on (September 13, 2012, 8:52 GMT)

I rank hasim amla above kholi due to some strong arguments...

He is more generous than kholi... He is less proudy than Kholi... He has better attitude than kholi.. He does not abuses like kholi... when 90 matches he ll reach surely he will have more hundreds than kholi...

Posted by Nerav on (September 13, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

Still early on in his career although it is a fantastic start. Hopefully he can continue like this even after his weaknesses are exposed. That is the test for a true great.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 8:19 GMT)

Ted Osborne, Why don't you look in to your Own Team. India have at least Developed a Stable No. 3 Batsman. Whereas after Ponting you have used White, Clarke, Wade, Bailey, Forrest, Ronchi Etc at no. 3 Position !!

Posted by mathewjohn2176 on (September 13, 2012, 8:12 GMT)

Posted by  Ted Osborne on (September 13 2012, 05:30 AM GMT), He already made 2 hundreds (1 test ,1 odi ) in Australia and England 1 hundred in 3 Odis ( by playing for the first time both in aus and eng) against the overrated club bowlers of yours.And your club level batsman Ricky Ponting averaging poor in flat pitches.At the age of 23, virat kohli averages more than Watson (31) in both test and odi as a batsmen .so chill and keep your usual ranting stuff with yourself.

Posted by trueanalyst on (September 13, 2012, 7:58 GMT)

@Ted Osborne why r u meddling in each and every Indian Article. I think GRVJPR has already given the answer.Virat Kohli was initially struggling a lot in Australia but he started rectifying it on the later part of the Tour finally culminating in that brutal hundred against Srilanka (330 in 30 odd overs). That is how quick he learns .Why does your greatest batsman after Don Bradman struggles so much in the same flat conditions.In India he has played 14 matches and averages 26 and scored one century .Please tell why he can't play in the flat pitches.Even Australian pitches are flat for Australian players.When Australia was at its peak your batsmen used to score 500 in every match and later dismissed the hapless opponents.They are flat pitches for your batsman and treachery pitches for the opponent players .Same is the case with India. Try to give credit where it is due instead of continuously rambling against Indians. Maybe it is too much to expect from you. Cricinfo please publish

Posted by Hunbbel on (September 13, 2012, 7:31 GMT)

I am a Pakistani, and feel totally honoured to see Virat Kohli's batting from time to time. He is an 'unbelievable' talent with the perfect blend of hardwork and intelligence. Unlike many other cricketers, he has a great cricketing brain, which allows him to read the situations amazingly well - that is why he is a master of chasing big totals. I think, the ability to read situation well and not taking things for granted, proved to be the major difference between Virat Kohli and Umar Akmal; as they both were supposed to be of same class - when they started out - but turned out to be miles apart.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 7:02 GMT)

hes a good player..but hoow about the the magical hashim amla who scored 10 hundreds in only 62 matches with better avg and in way tough conditions for batting.his test record is even better..hes simply the best modern cricketer. someone like ponting or lara..

Posted by himohan007 on (September 13, 2012, 6:56 GMT)

Now we have only few Kohli vs Amla for runs in all format and respect among other fans, Dhoni vs AB vs Huss for best finishers, Dale vs Jimmy as spearhead, (may be Finn vs Starc in ODI comming years) No competition for Ajmal.

Posted by himohan007 on (September 13, 2012, 6:45 GMT)

I foresee competition b/w Amla n Kholi for best batsman of the year every year.Loved those days (90's n 00's) of cricket where every icon cricketer of a country is respeted by others also and there is comptition Sachin vs Sanath vs Mark vs Anwar for scoring more run as opener, Kalis vs Dravid in test runs along with no.of victories achived throung their batting effort and top spot, Murali vs Warne for most spinner wicket and more.

Posted by GRVJPR on (September 13, 2012, 6:41 GMT)

@Ted Osborne For you Information he has already scored 2 hundreds in Australia (1test, 1 ODI) and 1 in England (played only 3 ODI there). So he has already tamed those overrated bowlers of england and australia. Between The Below Club Level cricketers of England and Australia have been exposed in India already. And we will see more humiliation of these club level county cricketers this winter in INDIA. Autralia has won only one series by a margin of 1 test match in last 55 years in India ( a lottery indeed) and It's difficult to find when england won last time. May be in Stone Age.

Posted by himohan007 on (September 13, 2012, 6:26 GMT)

The other similar guy is Amla of SA. It will be also pleasure to read an article about his approach of play as like his batting.

Posted by khurramsch on (September 13, 2012, 6:03 GMT)

he is very good player. i think more better than any one else. some might say no but i think his stats show that he is more good than tendulkar, sehwag, or any otherbatsman. specially while chasing he is the master.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 6:01 GMT)

The over-wise excerpts are outstanding. Very good article.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (September 13, 2012, 5:55 GMT)

I think in England he will have to take a longer stride when playing of the front foot like Dravid used to do. Batsmen coming out only on a short stride tend to get caught behind or in the slips howsoever late they may be playing the stroke. But then there can be endless discussions and yet someone may be able to do it his way. If Virat Kohli practises as much as he does, I am sure he will be prepared for English conditions as well, using his own judgement. He once had a problem with the short ball and seems to have improved in this aspect of batting. He will improve with more practice. It is reported that Virat practices for hours. Good for him actually.

Posted by Ankur_221286 on (September 13, 2012, 5:47 GMT)

Virat Kohli...supremely talented, cool Delhi lad, aggressive in his approach...is the new face of Indian Cricket...with Gambhir,Sehwag,Dhoni in their 30s....Raina,Rohit failing to deliver in crunch situations...Tendulkar not playing ODIs these days....Yuvraj fighting his own battle with cancer....this man has carried the burden of Indian batting single handedly....he is like the epitome of dealing pressure situations....T20s, ODIs , Tests...he has proved his mettle in all forms of the game....he is currently hitting the purple patch of his life....and its not that he performs against meek teams in home conditions....he has equally performed in alien conditions against monster opponents....he has a long way to go...the tougher exams will be the tour to South Africa and NZ...lets see how he shapes up there....

Posted by Faridoon on (September 13, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

Truly incredible stats. Such success so early in a career really shows his superb ability. It's just his attitude that needs a little adjusting. You may attribute the youth for being brazen but he should quickly learn that being humble will earn him even greater admirers. Winning without grace is not winning, some would argue.

Although I can well imagine that if this notion was put to him, he would argue that he doesn't play to earn admirers but to win games for his team. Such is the audacity of youth.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 5:38 GMT)

he needs to be tested out of the subcontinent. he has 11 hundreds in 60 matches in asia and 2 hundreds in 30 matches away. but his temperament is good and he builds his innings properly unlike rohit sharma

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 5:30 GMT)

When he does well aboard and against top ranked team, than go nuts over him. I know being Indians, you folks tend to get ahead of yourself. The likes of James, Watson etc will show this fellow his place. Indians batsman's are still at club level and only good for playing on flat pitches.

Posted by pratn on (September 13, 2012, 4:49 GMT)

Amla has 10 in 60 innings but he is the only one with fewer innings per hundred. Here's some other batsmen with 10 or fewer innings per hundred : Amla - 6, Kohli - 6.69, Tendulkar - 9.22, AB de Villiers - 9.76, Trescothick - 10.16.

BTW it was surprising to me that Inzamam had only 10 centuries in ODIs.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 4:33 GMT)

The best thing about Kohli is that he rarely misses out, once he gets going. Very rarely you'll see him give it away after a good start. Surely looks poised to be the next big thing not only in Indian cricket but also in World cricket. All the best Virat.

Posted by loke_cricfan on (September 13, 2012, 4:17 GMT)

He is the ricky ponting of India

Posted by hiteshsjoshi on (September 13, 2012, 3:36 GMT)

One more nice article from Aakash Chopra. Enjoyed reading it. Loved the technicalities mentioned in the article.Keep on posting.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 3:31 GMT)

Aakash, Congratulations on excellent analysis of Virat's success. The degree of self control this guy has shown speaks volumes about his maturity.the phenomenal way you have analyzed it speaks volumes about your cricketing acumen.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2012, 3:30 GMT)

Virat was the happy go lucky, heaven's may care attitude guy, when I saw him first 3-4 years ago, but he is apparently been told by well-meaning people that he is a talent-extraordinaire..All he needs to do is to focus, dedicate himself to the game and he will be one of the best in the business, in the world.. And that is precisely what he is done and should continue to do in the future.. I see him as the only one capable of breaking Sachin's record in world cricket at this point in time.. Wonder who his mentor and advisor is??

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Aakash ChopraClose
Aakash Chopra Aakash Chopra is the 245th Indian to represent India in Test cricket. A batsman in the traditional mould, he played 10 Tests for India in 2003-04, and has played over 120 first-class matches. He currently plays for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy; his book Beyond the Blues was an account of the 2007-08 season. Chopra made a formidable opening combination with Virender Sehwag, which was believed to be one of the reasons for India's success in Australia and Pakistan in 2003-04. He is considered one of the best close-in fielders India has produced after Eknath Solkar.

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