Sri Lanka v India, 4th ODI, Colombo July 31, 2012

Kohli in a zone of his own

Every day, Virat Kohli's young batting colleagues are seeing a live manual on how to manage their careers
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Just how far is Virat Kohli ahead of his peers now? Sample this. It is an achievement for Manoj Tiwary, a very fine batsman, to get a game. Rohit Sharma, probably the most talented of the lot, wonders how he can make some runs, somehow. Ajinkya Rahane seems to have accepted his position on the sidelines for now. Kohli, the youngest of the four, thinks he has no business getting out soon after reaching a hundred. You can bat in the zone. Kohli, at the moment, is living in the zone. When you are so far ahead of others, you can feel lonely at the summit. Kohli is searching for higher peaks to conquer.

You aim to improve on your routine. Kohli's routine right now is making centuries. So now, he wants to make them "big". As if making 133 not out, 108, 66, 183, 106, 1, 38 and 128 not out in your previous eight innings is not big enough. That 38 he made in the third ODI bothered him. He was disappointed that he got out, disappointed that he took 65 balls to make 38, disappointed because he rarely fails nowadays.

"So I thought about it in the nets," Kohli said. His brand of thinking was to bash every bowler during practice with an intensity that was searing to even watch. On the eve of this game, he was clobbering everything thrown at him in the nets. Spinner or fast bowler, Indian or Sri Lankan. He almost broke Ashok Dinda's hand with a piledriver of a drive.

Come match situation today, and Kohli the brute became Kohli the machine, again. Lasith Malinga's swinging yorker had taken out Gautam Gambhir in the first over. Kohli jogged in and calmly left his first ball alone. The man's aggression may be in-your-face, but he knows an international batsman has to respect international bowlers at times, though he can display his intent when he gets the chance.

The first came off his ninth ball, a short one outside off from Malinga. Kohli hooked. Not the desperate hook borne out of insecurity, but a calculated, crisp one. The ball almost went for six over deep midwicket. Intent shown, he went back to displaying more respect again.

He was 23 off 40 at one stage, a strike-rate lower than what he managed in the third ODI. Today, though, he was determined not to throw it away. When Kohli starts churning the singles and twos calmly, you know he has switched into marathon mode. His fifty soon came, in 65 balls, with just two boundaries.

Meanwhile, Virender Sehwag sparked briefly and went, Rohit's struggles continued, Tiwary fell after a start. Kohli was asked what his approach was with Rohit, probably playing for his place in the XI. He said he told Rohit to let him take all risks as a set batsman and try to play himself in. Too bad Rohit lasted 14 balls.

Kohli finally found support from Suresh Raina. Apart from some nervy running initially, there was no knowing that they had come together at 109 for 4 chasing 252. Kohli had an explanation for the running as well. "They have some really good fielders inside and [we made] an error of judgment. You don't run singles off good fielders. It can happen every now and then but after that [we] pretty much sorted it out - who has a good arm, who is quick across the outfield and in the inner circle. [We] made a few mistakes but corrected them quickly."

The explanation shows that Kohli and panic just don't go together. "It is very easy to [panic]," Kohli said, before going on to tell why he doesn't. "When you play about eight dot balls it is very easy to step out and go for that big one. But when you get out you realise that you lose one more wicket and the new guy going in, he might play 10-15 dot balls more. So you have that advantage over that guy coming in to bat because you are set. You can actually start rotating the strike and hit the odd balls in between for boundaries.

"It is all about analysing what's going on in the middle. Today was not one of those quick wickets. Wickets in Sri Lanka are pretty slow so it was all about assessing that. We have players like Viru bhai [Sehwag], Suresh and MS [Dhoni] coming in who can smash the ball at will. My job was to make sure we don't lose any more wickets. That's what I and Suresh discussed in the middle. Because defending 250 you need to take wickets at regular intervals. So our main plan was to stop that and try and create some sort of partnership. We knew we had the batting Powerplay and we [can] cash that in the end."

Fifty-five runs came in the batting Powerplay, Raina got to another fifty, Kohli to another century, after which he finished the game in the 43rd over with eight boundaries off his final 16 deliveries. Kohli's been cracking hundreds for nearly a year now but he said the vice-captaincy, which he got during the Asia Cup in March, had made him more responsible.

"If people think you have those qualities for handling responsibility … I have been given a post, I was happily surprised with it and I feel much more responsible when I play in the middle. Not that my behaviour or my attitude towards my team-mates has changed. It is all about thinking yourself in a more responsible way. That's how you get more mature. If you are given challenges you got to live up to it and it makes you mature as a player and as a person as well."

His growing maturity and productivity is reflected in the fact that he has already made more than a 1000 ODI runs this year, after making 1381 in 2011. We are fortunate to be witnessing one of the most productive streaks in international cricket. His young peers are lucky to be witnessing a live manual every day on how to manage their careers. Whether they learn from it, and how they apply it is another matter.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | August 3, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    Tendulkar is a legend & em not comparising him vd Kolhli ^ But mark my word Kohli will be the man who break Sachin's ODI century record ^ go 4 it Virat - love from Pakistan =)

  • POSTED BY MENDIS_Forever on | August 2, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    Guys, please stop comparing Kohli and Tendulkar.You have to be so proud of them,as both are playing for INDIA.(I am a Sri Lankan)

  • POSTED BY AvidCricFan on | August 2, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    At this point there is not question about Kohli's talen and class. He has performed well in testing conditions outside of continent too. I am not so sure about of the batsmen in the current team other than Kohli. Shewag, Gambhir, Raina, Dhoni are good on subcontinent wickets but are very questionable on wickets with pace and bounce. We saw Gambhir adjust in Aussie ODIs to some extent. I think it is high time to give Rahane chance and induct fresh talent. Rohit Sharma is a spend force at this time. He simply doesn't have good head to succeed at the highest level.

  • POSTED BY Wacky_Cric_Lover on | August 2, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    Sachin + ability to finish the match = Kohli

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    In Kohl I see a Tendulakar who can win a match too. i

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    @Sayantan Bhattacharya, One correction...In 1998 series vs Aus in Sharjah, McGrath did not play while Lee was yet to make his debut.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | August 2, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    While we praise Kohli, there are three others players of class that I can single out - Gambhir, Pujara and Chand. I used to think also of Rohit but he needs to go back to India A and work himself back up. Another to watch is Mandeep Singh. While we talk of batting, it is the INDIAN BOWLING that is NON-EXISTENT. BCCI wake-up. Invest in training of the players like ATUL SHARMA - the javelin thrower/pace bowler.

  • POSTED BY krishheturi on | August 2, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    dont forget that kohli is just 23 and he is young so he will score hundreds but what happens if he gets passed 28 where the body doesnt help any cricketer to be this much aggressive so just enjoy his skills and cricket but dont take that he is only to break world records before him they were many and after him there will be more dont compare him with anyone

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2012, 3:47 GMT

    i can say that watching every Indian game now is really fun, because its awesome to watch the different scenarios faced by vi-rat kohli in which he somehow maneuvers a Ton. i think he has changed the significance of a number 3 position in cricket. since sehwag and gambir become unpredictable is how long they will last, he somtimes plays as an opener, fighting the new ball with swing, or he comes in with the new ball slightly swinging less, this tells us if we find another great middle order talent, he can certainly open if need be. virat Kohli also proves and should motivate all the youngsters in the team to do ebetter, since he can achieve all this at such a young age. he can become Indian team mentor for a long time, and someone who sets an example, but i dont want him to become captain, it might affect his batting, and unless he wants that responsiblity, i would not force on him. we saw tendulkar opt out of captaincy, because he knew best, as he is Indias Best.

  • POSTED BY Interzod on | August 1, 2012, 23:17 GMT

    @bengal_tiger01 Great post.

    Too many people get carried away with new Indian talent. Although Virat is beyond awesome at the moment let's see if it continues. But let's play down the (dull) Sachin comparisons cos Kohli is already quite a few years behind so how on earth will he make 20000 ODI runs?

  • POSTED BY on | August 3, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    Tendulkar is a legend & em not comparising him vd Kolhli ^ But mark my word Kohli will be the man who break Sachin's ODI century record ^ go 4 it Virat - love from Pakistan =)

  • POSTED BY MENDIS_Forever on | August 2, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    Guys, please stop comparing Kohli and Tendulkar.You have to be so proud of them,as both are playing for INDIA.(I am a Sri Lankan)

  • POSTED BY AvidCricFan on | August 2, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    At this point there is not question about Kohli's talen and class. He has performed well in testing conditions outside of continent too. I am not so sure about of the batsmen in the current team other than Kohli. Shewag, Gambhir, Raina, Dhoni are good on subcontinent wickets but are very questionable on wickets with pace and bounce. We saw Gambhir adjust in Aussie ODIs to some extent. I think it is high time to give Rahane chance and induct fresh talent. Rohit Sharma is a spend force at this time. He simply doesn't have good head to succeed at the highest level.

  • POSTED BY Wacky_Cric_Lover on | August 2, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    Sachin + ability to finish the match = Kohli

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    In Kohl I see a Tendulakar who can win a match too. i

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    @Sayantan Bhattacharya, One correction...In 1998 series vs Aus in Sharjah, McGrath did not play while Lee was yet to make his debut.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | August 2, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    While we praise Kohli, there are three others players of class that I can single out - Gambhir, Pujara and Chand. I used to think also of Rohit but he needs to go back to India A and work himself back up. Another to watch is Mandeep Singh. While we talk of batting, it is the INDIAN BOWLING that is NON-EXISTENT. BCCI wake-up. Invest in training of the players like ATUL SHARMA - the javelin thrower/pace bowler.

  • POSTED BY krishheturi on | August 2, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    dont forget that kohli is just 23 and he is young so he will score hundreds but what happens if he gets passed 28 where the body doesnt help any cricketer to be this much aggressive so just enjoy his skills and cricket but dont take that he is only to break world records before him they were many and after him there will be more dont compare him with anyone

  • POSTED BY on | August 2, 2012, 3:47 GMT

    i can say that watching every Indian game now is really fun, because its awesome to watch the different scenarios faced by vi-rat kohli in which he somehow maneuvers a Ton. i think he has changed the significance of a number 3 position in cricket. since sehwag and gambir become unpredictable is how long they will last, he somtimes plays as an opener, fighting the new ball with swing, or he comes in with the new ball slightly swinging less, this tells us if we find another great middle order talent, he can certainly open if need be. virat Kohli also proves and should motivate all the youngsters in the team to do ebetter, since he can achieve all this at such a young age. he can become Indian team mentor for a long time, and someone who sets an example, but i dont want him to become captain, it might affect his batting, and unless he wants that responsiblity, i would not force on him. we saw tendulkar opt out of captaincy, because he knew best, as he is Indias Best.

  • POSTED BY Interzod on | August 1, 2012, 23:17 GMT

    @bengal_tiger01 Great post.

    Too many people get carried away with new Indian talent. Although Virat is beyond awesome at the moment let's see if it continues. But let's play down the (dull) Sachin comparisons cos Kohli is already quite a few years behind so how on earth will he make 20000 ODI runs?

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 21:27 GMT

    @ansram - I beg to differ. You clearly weren't born or seen the 1998 Sharjah series and the notoriously famous Sachin's assault of the Aussies -- an attack which featured Steve Waugh's meanies - McGrath, Gillespie, Lee, Warne. Sachin at his best made the opponent actually enjoy watching themselves getting destroyed. And there was no "power play" back then - so no freebies.

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | August 1, 2012, 20:03 GMT

    As a fan of Pak Cricket I am certainly mesmerized by Kohli's heroics. Well Asia produced a Bradman and now Viv Richard? Good luck India, you guys are lucky to have the likes of Kohli.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    A Man with Talent, Skill and added Aggression and if he can curve his anger around the skill then he is going to achieve anything. Kohli has everything it takes to become a Legend... So it is just Matter of Time before he creates History In the game of Cricket… I love to watch him Play and Break Records ..

  • POSTED BY warneneverchuck on | August 1, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    Kohli is a good player but can't yet say whether he has same class as legends like Sachin until he proves himself in test

  • POSTED BY Legaleagle on | August 1, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    Kohli is the most promising talent in world cricket right now. He brings poise, persistence, and perseverance on the crease. An absolutely gem of a cricketer with genuine hunger for the game. This kid is a genius in the making- no comparison offered, nor required!

    On the contrary, it befuddles me that how can Rohit Sharma be persisted with? I think he has been given enough opportunities to prove his mettle, and he has failed. I am not saying he should be shelved permanently but he should go back to the drawing board, get back his confidence and then get back into the international fold. He doesn't look confident at all!

  • POSTED BY ansram on | August 1, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    @csowmi7 - I don't think Kohli would struggle against the 90s attacks that you brought up. Not in ODIs anyways. Not long ago he brutalized Malinga and made him concede 100+ runs in an ODI. Not often you see that. Not even Sachin did that to anybody of Malinga's repute. If Sachin flayed those attacks why then did he not flourish even more when the attacks became weaker when he was an even more experienced batsman?

    In test matches, Kohli has a long way to go to merit comparison with any legends, he is just a test babe yet. But in ODIs, he is already staking his claim as a champion batsman and certainly deserve to be considered as a future Sachin, Infact, Sachin was considered a legend at a young age and we did not wait for him to grow grey hairs to pass that judgement. Why double standards for Kohli? if Kohli continues in the same vein for another 2-3 years, records will tumble and Kohli also has the innate ability to lead India to wins - he does not just make big personal scores.

  • POSTED BY balajik1968 on | August 1, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    Rohit Sharma is talented, but he fails in the temperament area, whereas Kohli has a lot of attitude. When he was 16-17, his father passed away in the middle of a Ranji match. The guy came in, played a vital innings and then rushed to the funeral. Just shows how much he wants to succeed. I am not saying something like this should happen to Sharma, but the difference in attitudes is very clear. Right now Kohli looks to be the leader of the next generation of Indian cricketers, but one note of caution. Ravi Shastri was also 23 when he became vice-captain, but was beaten by Azharuddin to the captaincy, and within 3 years played his last match for India.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    A Man with Talent, Skill and added Aggression and if he can curve his anger around the skill then he is going to achieve anything.

    Kohli has everything it takes to become a Legend... So it is just Matter of Time before he creates History In the game of Cricket…

    I love to watch him Play and Break Records ...

  • POSTED BY Cric_Tic on | August 1, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    in comes RO-HIT... crowd shout..GO-HIT.. oops..there comes NO-HIT

  • POSTED BY Cric_Tic on | August 1, 2012, 15:04 GMT

    we call a player a "GREAT" after he achieved several milestones or success and almost after half his career is over. it is this consistancy over 5 to 6 years which makes "Greats" above the "Best". let us hope Amla, Kohli have such long streaks for many more years.. before we compare with anyone.

  • POSTED BY Mano2004 on | August 1, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    Kohli can one day emulate Sachin, if he can continue the same form for another dacade or more.But Sachin has no opportunity to emulate Kohli as the standards of batmanship has been set by that man. Whether it is cavalry, brutality, patience, or even statistics, when it comes to batting, one man stands taller, unfortunately not literally, than any other batter this world has ever seen. SACHIN TENDULKAR. Others are most welcome to break his records.

  • POSTED BY Cric_Tic on | August 1, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    Kohli is a class batsman.. but please dont compare with any earlier greats..let him play freely without pressure. He has the highest runs scored in any 10 consecutive matches in ODI history..shows his tempermant. He is almost fastest to reach 4000 runs. he is the youngest and fastest to score 13 centuries in ODI history..all proving tht we are going to be enthralled in the next decade.

  • POSTED BY Rohit... on | August 1, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    Dont get angry if Kohli is compared with Sachin. After all he is the one who can fill up his shoes. and Gambhir will be the NEXT DRAVID. I am sure of it.

  • POSTED BY kayarr on | August 1, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    Somehow I feel the apt comparison is Kohli with Ricky Ponting - similar atttitudes - wears aggression on his sleeve, cussing, early struggles with self/media/establishment/the world at large, the desire to dominate the bowler and let them know through words and action. Indian cricket would be well served if he ends up anywhere close to Punter.

  • POSTED BY Aryian007 on | August 1, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    For those comparing Kohli and Tendulkar. Here's a stat, when both were 24. BTW, Kohli is not yet 24, he has few more matches to play before that! Provided #'s don't lie, and Kohli score one more century before Nov 5th or so, he is a better player than Sachin, Sourav, and Dravid FOR HIS AGE by Average, Strike rate, # of hundred scored, and more imporatntly # of matches won when a hundred is scored! Check the link below http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?agemax1=24;ageval1=age;class=2;filter=advanced;orderby=hundreds;result=1;template=results;type=batting

  • POSTED BY Divinetouch on | August 1, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar-the greatest batsman ever. His greatness demand that whenever cricket is spoken or written about especially with regards to batting the name of the greatest batsman ever - Sachinji will always come irrespective of who likes him or not.

    Thos who dislike him cannot resist the urge to mention his simply because of his greatness. Silently, they too would like to acknowlede his greatness but their pride would not allow them to verbalise their inner feelings.

    Fortuntaely, Sachinji is above petty thinking and always allow his bat to do the talking.

  • POSTED BY iamrms on | August 1, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    If Cricinfo Statsguru is not managed by Mr. SR Tendulkar, then I just came to know that at this age (23 years 270 days) Sachin had scored at least one century against al team (Aus, pak, sa, wi sril (3), nz) away facing warne, akram, murli, vaas, waqar, and many legends i dont remember as i was just 5 at that time.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    Two things: First, Kohli has shown himself to be far more ambitious than his peers. Rohit, Tiwary, Raina etc. are all talented - but Kohli, ever since he got his chance, has worked to only improve his technique. He's only 23, has World cup wins in both senior, and U-19 level and can only get better. Secondly, stop bringing in Tendulkar in every discussion. I'm a huge fan of Tendulkar, his achievements and his work ethic. But it's all about the cards you've been dealt. Those who complain about the standard of bowling - Malinga, Steyn, Anderson, Umar Gul, Ryan Harris etc. would've not been a very shabby company even in 90s. Not to forget, he made his debut and was one of the highest scorers in the series against Murali and Mendis, where all those 'greats' floundered. When Steyn started taking lot of wickets in 2008, no one compared him to Marshall/ Akram straightaway. Kohli has potential, and hopefully in years to come he'll work towards achieving all that is expected of him.

  • POSTED BY Aryian007 on | August 1, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    For those comparing Kohli and Tendulkar. Here's a stat, when both were 24. BTW, Kohli is not yet 24, he has few more matches to play before that!

    Match result won match Players age at start of match less than or equal to 24 Ordered by hundreds scored (descending) Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100Descending 50 0 V Kohli (India) 2008-2012 53 52 11 2815 183 68.65 3108 90.57 12 12 4 investigate this query SR Tendulkar (India) 1990-1998 86 84 14 3725 127* 53.21 4275 87.13 10 24 3 investigate this query

    6 9 3 investigate this query

  • POSTED BY Aloke_Mondkar on | August 1, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    I have been very impressed with Kohli in ODIs but dont burden him with Tendulkar comparison. Let him find his own niche and become another great. We can always have two greats representing India - never a bad thing. Also, as a die hard Sachin fan (maybe lesser so after some things done by him in the last 1.5 years), lets not forget that he played the first 70 odd ODI games at number 6 or 7. It has after he got promoted against NZ that we realized what an ODI gem we have on our hands.

  • POSTED BY akpy on | August 1, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    some sensible and some over-the-top comments here as usual...virat is a true star in the making but so was vinod Kambli. He clearly seems to have ability, hardworking trait, etc to stay on top for years to come, but time will tell. As usual, comparisions with sachin is obvious as he is the benchmark, whether some of his adverse critics/haters like or not - for e.g, when cook hit his recent century, he was 2nd youngest to 20 centuries in tests after who else, sachin !! It is only we indians keep putting him down without understanding how he has stood up to various attacks, conditions, circumstances and fought for the team. Infact, starting at 16, his first 4 tours were to Pak(wasim,waqar, imran,qadir and tension of indo-pak series), Nzl (which was one of the toughest overseas tours till 1990s and they had Hadlee), Eng (always testing) and Aus (who thrashed us 4-0) with WC92 also thrown in the mix. He came through all those challenges..

  • POSTED BY Deenesh on | August 1, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    Kohli is many things, but he is not a flat track batsman. The case can be made that quite a few indian batsman are. Raina for example, despite his current form is defintely a flat track batsman. Easily exposed. Kohli however scored a test hundred agaisnt Australia, and who can forget that amazing hundred agaisnt SL in AUS that almost took India to the finals? Agaisnt fast bowlers in swinging conditions he has proven himself. Obviously since he plays more in Asia more runs will come on "flat tracks". Don't be a hater, acknowledge the awesome talent of Virat Kohli

  • POSTED BY iamrms on | August 1, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    The persons critisizing SRT, all should read the article by Wright Thompson, an american. His article named "In Sachin's Cotntry" is on cricinfo's 2011 WC homepage

  • POSTED BY Hardy1 on | August 1, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    One thing that's been amazing about Kohli though, all of these centuries he's scored have come in WINS & in chases more often than not. Great application in a pressure situation, wonderful to see. Him, Raina, Dhoni & Gambhir are very talented when it comes to that in ODIs at least. We just need to see the same from the Indian team in tests.

  • POSTED BY Hardy1 on | August 1, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    I don't understand people who diminish Kohli's efforts over the last year or two, the guy's scored more ODI runs than anyone at one of the highest averages for god's sake. Ok so a lot of the pitches were batsmen friendly, right so I'm assuming the greats like Sanga, Jayawardene, Sehwag, Gambhir, Dhoni, Sachin etc. must've scored way more than him in that time right?

    What this guy's achieved in 2012 is one of the best runs I've ever seen in ODI cricket, and nothing can take that way from him. Having said that, there will be times when the going will get much tougher & talk of him catching Sachin etc. is absurd. Maintaining a career for well over a decade is different to being the best over 1/2 years. Let's just sit back & appreciate the guy without any expectations.

  • POSTED BY arup_g on | August 1, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    Kohli is showing all the qualities of a world class batsman, but he still has a very long way to go! No comparisons can be made with the master Sachin, because Sachin has done it consistently over a 24 year career, whereas Kohli, has just started his. Let the guy play! The worst thing about Indians, and the Indian media is that they will start to compare youngsters to legends too early on their career - Rohit Sharma being compared to Sachin, Irfan Pathan to Wasim Akram, Rahane to Dravid etc etc. He needs to transfer this form into the test game, which I am sure he will. He has the confidence, attitude, technique and knowledge in order to do it. It will only benefit India and India alone if he continues this form. Let's all support him!

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | August 1, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    @Positive_Critic : Just in defense of Virat, the stats in away series.. In SA - 2 50's and a couple of 20's.. We know the conditions and all the games were low scoring ones.. In England, 1 50 and 1 100 in 5 games, in Australia - 2 50's and ojne monumental 100(blemish being all against SL but SL bowling was very much potent in those conditions and he got start as against Australia too).. In WI(If we can count as away), two 50's in 5 games.. These stats are as good as anyone who played their first series in alien conditions.. Virat scored 100's in two of three toughest nations around.. In all, he had scored 100's against SL, Australia, England, NZ, WI, BD and Pakistan.. Only SA is missing among the test playing nations.. And, he did all in 86 innings.. Doesn't it sound incredible???

  • POSTED BY JBKSHAH on | August 1, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    Even GOD Sachin Tendulkar might have not scored 13 ODI centuries at Kohli's age. I stand to be corrected. M S Dhoni should understand that its time for Rohit to do some net practice / first class cricket.

  • POSTED BY RAVI_NRC on | August 1, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    well played..kohli..he has to perform in test cricket.. For the past 1 or 2 years he has improved his ..body language on field. More to come..GREAT GOING

  • POSTED BY grizzle on | August 1, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    @csowmi7 Typical Tendulkar fanboyism. It could also be argued that what Tendulkar achieved has already been equalled and bettered by Ponting, Lara, Kallis (some have better averages, some have won more test matches for their teams, some bring more than their batting, etc.). What's more: there is no doubt that Kohli has achieved way more in the ODI setup than Tendulkar achieved at this age. What is also clear is that Kohli hasn't achieved as much in Test cricket. To me, and I am sure to many others, that is the true test of a cricketer. So in conclusion, right now the comparison between Kohli and Tendulkar can go only one way (Tendulkar's), precisely because of Tendulkar's test record at the time (centuries in England, Australia, saving a test match for India, etc.)

  • POSTED BY 777aditya on | August 1, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    They say never throw away good form - forget throwing away, Virat has time and again managed to better it! Purple is too faint a color to describe this patch! Virat should set himself impossibly lofty targets like trying to break Sachin's ODI record for number of centuries, etc, but one must understand that no one can go on and on like the Amaron bunny (apart from Sachin, cricket's Rajnikanth); however, these Virat moments are absolutely relishing!

  • POSTED BY no.1_multicultural_team on | August 1, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    Flat track is am myth created by and for convinience of green track teams.Fact is so called flat tracks require a different set of skill, a skill higher than batting on green tracks where if you learn to negotiate swing,you are in.On so called flat tracks you need footwork,wristwork,patience to nudge single,and hit very hard to clear the boundries.On green tracks, you negotiate the swing and then thats it,rest is done by the speed of the ball and the track.The fact that Subcontinent players have won more tournaments on green tracks than the green tracks teams have won in india proves that subcontinent batsmen and teams are more skilled.

  • POSTED BY csowmi7 on | August 1, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    @ansram It is far to early to be comparing kohli to tendulkar. The quality of bowlers of the 1990s is completely different to that which kohli has encountered. No doubt he is the best ODI batsman at the moment but he has not been properly tested. Tendulkar had to contend with some of the greatest bowlers of all time like mcgrath warne murali vaas ambrose akram waqar. The standard of bowling has greatly changed. There is no great spinner or fast bowler at the moment except Dale Steyn. Tendulkar made centuries against the best in all conditions. Kohli may one day break all his records but what Tendulkar achieved can never be equaled.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    this guy is india's michael bevan; its like he gets runs and plenty of them everytime; i hope he can keep it up!

  • POSTED BY ansram on | August 1, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    Kohli appears certain to break all batting records that Sachin created. I am just eager to see how he will fare in test cricket. I just hope Kohli's efforts will be match winning for India.

    Kohli is batting even better than Sachin at his best. Look at his ODI average - 52!! Sachin averaged 39 at his age.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | August 1, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    Kohli's century in Oz showed that he was one batsman who could withstand pace bowling. Since then he has not looked back. Would love to see Gambhir do the same on overseas tracks. The furture will be about young talent lead by Gambhir and Kohli. I see Shewag, Tendulkar, Laxman leaving it to the youngsters.

  • POSTED BY cskfangg on | August 1, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    Kohli batted really well and I wish, he continues this form & create history in the game of cricket. Ok but whats the use of praising batsmens when you have big loophole in bowling and still cant able to develop two or three fast bowler & quality spinner in the team.

  • POSTED BY itsthewayuplay on | August 1, 2012, 8:53 GMT

    A lot of the posts so far seem to focus on the stats such as SR, what records can be broken etc and reinforces the view that many Indian cricket followers are more concerned with the numbers rather the performances and the context in which they are made. Why not accept that Virat in good form at the moment and leave it at? The great Rahul Dravid scored 2 matchwinning half centuries in a low scoring test on a difficult pitch in WI in 2006. The focus should now be on getting Rohit Sharma performing as so many people know he can do because with a middle order that would include also Kohli, Raina and Dhoni and with other players such as Tiwary and Rahane pushing for a place this would be a strong middle order for the future.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    The English team has players like Bell and Prior about whom the British press, cricinfo included, waxes eloquent after every fifty. Hundred! And they go ballistic! So why shouldn't a young batsman, who is scoring hundreds at will against all oppositions and all conditions be applauded! I would have loved to see an English team facing a similar target against the same opposition in the same conditions! Wouldn't have my money on them for sure! Its only time when Kohli will turn on the heat in test matches as well. He looks to be in the same mold as someone like Ricky Ponting, only maybe not as talented as the Australian great. And despite that what he is achieving defies belief!

  • POSTED BY CricketMaan on | August 1, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    @Game_Gazer - Can you tell me how many bowler friendly conditions do we have in ODIs these days all across the globe? ODIs were and will continue to be batsmen game with an odd bowling pitch here and there, with the advent of T20 organizers are churning out only batsmen friendly pitches and its not Kholi's fault he is playing a lot in sub continent or against SL. A cricketer has to perform on any given stage..that it..don' analyse too much..No one complains when Jimmy Anderson is called games great when is such an ordinary outside swinging conditions..Shane Warne was and is a great leggie though his record in India is next to nothing..Kholi is doing what he is supposed to do, score BIG DADDY 100s..Remember he score a 100 in a Test against aussie followed by a 180+ against Lanka (albiet on a belter) and a 100 in Cardif..sit back and enjoy those. Lastly a journalist is paid to both glorify and nulify..this time AP chose to glorify, someday he will nullify..that is what he is paid for.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    No doubt, a great batsman.. but still a long way to go! India still need to beat the top teams like Eng, Aus and SA in their own dens.. and the players need to prove their mette at their soil.. Sorry to say but that is the blunt fact!

  • POSTED BY bluebillion on | August 1, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    @Positive_Critic - please dont try to diminish the quality of Kohli's performances. True that he has scored 5 hundreds against SL (one of them in Hobart - and one against England in Cardiff so thats 2 outside the subcontinent) but how many other stalwarts in either team have achieved the feat?

  • POSTED BY Game_Gazer on | August 1, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    here we go, another ornamental write-up about a young player who has been in great form but mostly in batsmen-friendly conditions !! when will we ever stop effusing praise for "good" achievement, not "great" yet ! am tempted to imagine how well would he play in "seaming/swinging" wickets against good bowlers...please stop over-rating achievements

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    This is not time to compare kohli with sachin because this is early days for kohli at least we have to wait for one decade to compare kohli with sachin because sachin playing international cricket more than 2 decade, but i wish to kohli to achieve sachin record all the best for kohli and bright future for him.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    I have seen them all since 25 years. Tendulkar's technical purity aside but dear friends, a younger Kohli is better than a younger Tendulkar.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    Kohli is an excellent batsman, already a legend in the making, His records speak for itself, and unlike lots of Sub-Continent batsmen, he's not a flat-track bully, He has shown he can bat on tracks all over the world, easily shown with averages of about 55 in SA and Aus. All the best to Kholi, one of my favorite younger players. About Rohit, talent is not only about batting style and how crisply you can drive a ball. Talent involves temparament, concentration, and everything else needed to play cricket. Open your eyes selectors, drop Rohit, let him play some more first class cricket then get back to this level!

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    A 70+ on a quick WACA pitch where he ran out of partners and hence could not get the century which he did get in the next test has sent the confidence level of Virat into surreal levels, credit should also go to selectors and Dhoni for backing him in OZ after an indifferent test debut in the west indies and poor returns in the first 2 tests in OZ. Should get 100 hundreds without breaking much sweat although looking at the lower attendances in the ODI game it will not be surprising to see the number of ODi's reduced in the coming years.

  • POSTED BY Positive_Critic on | August 1, 2012, 5:54 GMT

    While I myself have been enjoying Kohli's performances in ODI's, one thing to note is only 1 of his 13 centuries have come out of sub continent. 5 of his centuries have come against SL, an opponent india plays when they have nothing else do to. SO while I do appreciate the guy's performances, we really should not be making too much hoopla out of these innings. We all know how good we are while playing in conditions that suit us... Kohli has been working hard and his efforts are reflected, no doubts about that.. but we hav suddenly started praising Raina, calling his name as a test prospect once again.. good lord.. its not been a year we were thrashed by Eng and OZ in tests... So while I am happy Kohli is getting better, I still say there is a long long road ahead before we call him amongst the best in the business... Right now he is the best in sub continent conditions and just that... nothing more..

  • POSTED BY gaurav.sokhi on | August 1, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    Kohli is well on his way to being a legend, not just for india, but for the world of cricket. I am so impressed by his new attitude, and calm aggression, reminds me of Sir Viv.

    On another note, im pretty sick of hearing all this 'get rid of sehwag' talk. in 4 matches, he's made a 90, and a quick 30-odd. Where is the issue with him in this series????????? His 30-odd gave kohli a bit of time to settle in, while india were still going at around 6 an over, thanks to sehwag. Sehwag might not perform all the time, and he can dismal at times, but his is the highest rated opener in Test and ODI's for the last few years, alongside Gambhir.

    Their opening PARTNERSHIP is called the best of the last 5 years in the world of cricket...............i repeat.......its called a PARTNERSHIP.......a PARTNERSHIP!!!!

    So dont go around wagging your finger at sehwag when he gets out cheap. I can understand criticism of Rohit, but sehwag is a proven performer who is feared all over the world.

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | August 1, 2012, 5:18 GMT

    A very mature head on a very young solder. Just remain what you are and dont let success get into your head. You are next batting great. Also have a control on your aggression. Let it not ruin you at the same time dont lose it. Go Kohli go.

  • POSTED BY drjustinrobert on | August 1, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    KOHLI and RAINA will be the future SACHIN and SAURAV of Indian Team, except that the fighting spirit of Saurav is with Kohli and the calmness of Sachin and Dravid is with Raina. Kohli is not only a run machine like Sachin and will garner several records like him, but also will be a good leader like Saurav. Raina the best finisher will silently win matches for the Indian team as Dravid did. Glad we unearthed two good future Indian players. No man is perfect, even Sachin could not shine in his role as captain. Instead of making fuss about any of their small negatives, these two blokes should be well protected, and managed by the Indian team without injuries, developing egos and they will inturn serve India well for a long time at least 2-3 ODI world cups. KOHLI and RAINA should play all forms of the game for they are the true talents, and should be helped by a good coach like GARY KIRSTEN to even shine in test matches. FIRE DUMMY FLETCHER AND NOHIT SHARMA. STAY AWAY FROM JADEJA.

  • POSTED BY CoolCharlie on | August 1, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    Yeah i agree that Kohli has been amazing but its too early to call him a great. thats absolutely absurd to me. you cannot call aplayer great just because he scores heavely in odis in subcontinental pitch. I am not degrading his performance. I am happy for him and i wish him luck. But the fact is he still has a long way to go and prove his mettle. its too early to call him a great. if he performs for 4-5 years on all kinds of pitches and scores as heavely outside subcontinent in all formats( especially tests) then i will call him a great. He has to score against good bowlers in tough cnditions consistently.

  • POSTED BY Nadeem1976 on | August 1, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    First of all calling Rohit sharma the most talented is such a joke and insult to hard work which Kohli and Raina are putting together. In cricket a batsman is only called talented when he is scoring runs and Kohli is far far talented batsman than Sharma.

    By the way this is the greatest 10 match streak ever in ODI cricket with over 800 runs with avg over 100. I hope he keeps on scoring at this rate and break Sachin Centuries record in ODI. What a player Kohli is. This is talent not Sharma please. Please don't insult the hard workers.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    He is really talented player but he should control his attitude and anger to become great Batsmen of all time.. only batsmen to score more than 160 against Pakistan in ODI .. good luck by the way :)

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    It is true that Virat is in his own zone. The first time I saw him play for India under 21, I was sure he is the man to replace Rahul Dravid in tests. But the way he bats in one day cricket, he is the man to take the place of Dravid in test as well as in ODI. He does not hesitate to bat at any position from No.3 to 11. Only thing he has to follow Rahul is the humble nature.

    Sachin has scored 49 ODI centuries in 463 outings (i.e 9.45 matches/century) whereas Virat has 13 centuries in 86 matches (i.e 6.62 matches/century). At this rate, if Virat maintains the current form, he could score 70 centuries in 463 ODIs.

  • POSTED BY Y2SJ on | August 1, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    It is time Rohit Sharma is shown the door and Tiwary is goven an extended chance. Same goes to Sehwag. He fails more than he succeeds and it is better to have someone who is consistent.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 4:22 GMT

    Kohli looks good to rule the the game for a long time. It's not like he will centuries in all the matches but his technique is such that you can't keep him from scoring for a long time. His technique looks solid for now but again, real test is on the really fast pitches of south africa and australia. Hope he does well everywhere. Take a bow kohli. You are too good.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    Kohli definitely has matured as a player and going through a purple patch right now.The only player who seems to break his record of 13 centuries is Hashim Amla.

  • POSTED BY RCB4Eva on | August 1, 2012, 4:05 GMT

    Rohit Sharma should be given more games to settle. He is "the most talented of the lot" after all. Class is permanent, form is temporary, right? So what if the temporary form continues for the next 300 games? He will get back in form around game number 400 and then he will break all records in existence, mark my words. How can the selectors ignore this super talented, super non-performer? Keep going, Rohit, you have our disgusted support.

    Meanwhile, Kohli's form has been nothing short of phenomenal. Being a die-hard RCB fan myself, it is heartening to see our captain (so what if he is not from the Garden City?) performing really well for the country. It was unfortunate that he was not able to carry his purple patch to the IPL, but that is secondary to what he is doing for India. He should come in at No. 3 in Test matches too, now that the great Wall has retired. Go, Kohli, Go.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | August 1, 2012, 4:04 GMT

    Kohli already proved his quality in away matches too...He got 100s in Australia in the CB series. Sometimes he is over confident, thats the only problem for him.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    I m from pakistan.....but really Kohli is the best young cricketer at the moment

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | August 1, 2012, 3:34 GMT

    It is getting too easy for this guy now.. He is now a KING - in batting in subcontinent and while chasing.. Wish his rub of green stays for more time.. And, of course, transforms into tests too.. Playing SL is just increasing his records by leaps and bounds..

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 2:41 GMT

    Good on you!!!! keep your attitude in control you will automatically grow bigger as player

  • POSTED BY dheerajshetty on | August 1, 2012, 2:32 GMT

    " Rohit Sharma, probably the most talented of the lot", seriously i am sick and tired of this, how is talent measured?, and how is Rohit Sharma that talented, he is no were near the caliber of Virat Kohli.

  • POSTED BY Temuzin on | August 1, 2012, 2:26 GMT

    Kohli is a real deal. He is already a great batsman and will be greatest before he retires. Good luck.

  • POSTED BY the_blue_android on | August 1, 2012, 2:24 GMT

    Please drop players like Viru who are not contributing even on flat tracks. Give more chances to real batsmen like Rahane, Tiwary.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 2:19 GMT

    It is just amazing to see the hunger this young man has got and the way he has molded himself to fit in to the legendary Indian batting line-up. Hats off to you Kohli. Just being superstitious, don't remain on 13 centuries for long..

  • POSTED BY getgopi on | August 1, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    Man, I can't wait to see our guys perform outside the sub-continent...

  • POSTED BY US_Indian on | August 1, 2012, 2:03 GMT

    Off late people , players , the captain and management are talking about giving a long rope for talent and thank God Jadeja is sidelined for the time being but Rohit who some one coined a name NO-HIT sharma still continues to get the unnecessary backing just behind a curtain called has lots of talent, but inspite of having all the talent in the world as Aakash puts it lacks temperament there should be no place for such guy. Just compare he has played close to 80 odd games and look at Kohli who has played similar number of games and see where he stands and what respect he commands from his peers both in the team and opponents, this is what you call talent. He fails like any other person but he quickly gathers himself and starts performing. People are talking about the luck factor and number of chances guys like Kohli and Raina get, but that is all part of the game. If he is out of luck let him go to his mentor Sachin and get some tips to improve and survive. Kambli had more talent so?

  • POSTED BY bq120is on | August 1, 2012, 1:47 GMT

    I hope to see Kohli go above and beyond what tendulkar has acheived. I think it has worked well for Kohli to have come up during a time when all the media and noise has been around tendulkar, letting him do his thing, and man is he doing it well!!! I prefer lefties, as I am one, but when Kohli is playing, i like to watch! There aren't that many resolute and stylish players in one going around at the moment, the only other real name that comes to mind is Amla, but he has been around for a while which makes Kohli all that more special!

  • POSTED BY bvnathan on | August 1, 2012, 1:18 GMT

    It is really amazing to see Kohlis performance in ODI over the past 2 years including the world cup. A lot of good things has rubbed on him while playing with the seniors in the Indian team. He has matured with his outlook, approach to the game and as the age is on his side, it is a great benefit to team INDIA. It is more clear that future team INDIA need to be built around him and we can hope to unearth 2-3 more blokes like him for ODI world cup in 2015. I suggest Rohit Sharma to have a talk with Kohli and may be he should review/discuss his innings and short comings with his senior mate Tendulkar in Mumbai team. If Yuvaraj has gone on record to indicate that he has benefited from the discipline shown by Kohli, I'm sure others can emulate the same to make team INDIA stronger. Team INDIA need 3-4 fast bowlers (I mean in 140+ kph range) and 2-3 all-rounders (Yuvaraj, Irfan, Jadeja) to complete the package. In addition we also need to unearth new talent, to sustain the performance level.

  • POSTED BY Just_love_it on | August 1, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    Kohli will sure pass 20,000 runs in ODI's when he hangs his boots and mark it he will have Most 100's and FEW 200'S AS WELL IN ODIS. He is another Sachin type run machine in makings ....if he can work on his temperament he will be damn good TEST batsman as well.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 1:01 GMT

    Rohit is indeed the most talented of the four. I mean, comeon, it takes quite a bit of talent to have an average of 32 after 90 odd games, fail in one game after another, and still be considered prodiguous.

  • POSTED BY lovepork on | August 1, 2012, 0:56 GMT

    Kohli - dude you are amazing, the more I am seeing you batting the more you l am amazed! what sets you apart from your predecessors is your aggression and fighting spirit! you rock man you are a true match winner!

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    He is the best of lot. Best ODI Batsman.

  • POSTED BY MinusZero on | August 1, 2012, 0:44 GMT

    Kohli is Tendulkar MkII. I hope he can click in the tests too

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY MinusZero on | August 1, 2012, 0:44 GMT

    Kohli is Tendulkar MkII. I hope he can click in the tests too

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    He is the best of lot. Best ODI Batsman.

  • POSTED BY lovepork on | August 1, 2012, 0:56 GMT

    Kohli - dude you are amazing, the more I am seeing you batting the more you l am amazed! what sets you apart from your predecessors is your aggression and fighting spirit! you rock man you are a true match winner!

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 1:01 GMT

    Rohit is indeed the most talented of the four. I mean, comeon, it takes quite a bit of talent to have an average of 32 after 90 odd games, fail in one game after another, and still be considered prodiguous.

  • POSTED BY Just_love_it on | August 1, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    Kohli will sure pass 20,000 runs in ODI's when he hangs his boots and mark it he will have Most 100's and FEW 200'S AS WELL IN ODIS. He is another Sachin type run machine in makings ....if he can work on his temperament he will be damn good TEST batsman as well.

  • POSTED BY bvnathan on | August 1, 2012, 1:18 GMT

    It is really amazing to see Kohlis performance in ODI over the past 2 years including the world cup. A lot of good things has rubbed on him while playing with the seniors in the Indian team. He has matured with his outlook, approach to the game and as the age is on his side, it is a great benefit to team INDIA. It is more clear that future team INDIA need to be built around him and we can hope to unearth 2-3 more blokes like him for ODI world cup in 2015. I suggest Rohit Sharma to have a talk with Kohli and may be he should review/discuss his innings and short comings with his senior mate Tendulkar in Mumbai team. If Yuvaraj has gone on record to indicate that he has benefited from the discipline shown by Kohli, I'm sure others can emulate the same to make team INDIA stronger. Team INDIA need 3-4 fast bowlers (I mean in 140+ kph range) and 2-3 all-rounders (Yuvaraj, Irfan, Jadeja) to complete the package. In addition we also need to unearth new talent, to sustain the performance level.

  • POSTED BY bq120is on | August 1, 2012, 1:47 GMT

    I hope to see Kohli go above and beyond what tendulkar has acheived. I think it has worked well for Kohli to have come up during a time when all the media and noise has been around tendulkar, letting him do his thing, and man is he doing it well!!! I prefer lefties, as I am one, but when Kohli is playing, i like to watch! There aren't that many resolute and stylish players in one going around at the moment, the only other real name that comes to mind is Amla, but he has been around for a while which makes Kohli all that more special!

  • POSTED BY US_Indian on | August 1, 2012, 2:03 GMT

    Off late people , players , the captain and management are talking about giving a long rope for talent and thank God Jadeja is sidelined for the time being but Rohit who some one coined a name NO-HIT sharma still continues to get the unnecessary backing just behind a curtain called has lots of talent, but inspite of having all the talent in the world as Aakash puts it lacks temperament there should be no place for such guy. Just compare he has played close to 80 odd games and look at Kohli who has played similar number of games and see where he stands and what respect he commands from his peers both in the team and opponents, this is what you call talent. He fails like any other person but he quickly gathers himself and starts performing. People are talking about the luck factor and number of chances guys like Kohli and Raina get, but that is all part of the game. If he is out of luck let him go to his mentor Sachin and get some tips to improve and survive. Kambli had more talent so?

  • POSTED BY getgopi on | August 1, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    Man, I can't wait to see our guys perform outside the sub-continent...

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2012, 2:19 GMT

    It is just amazing to see the hunger this young man has got and the way he has molded himself to fit in to the legendary Indian batting line-up. Hats off to you Kohli. Just being superstitious, don't remain on 13 centuries for long..