Bangladesh v India, 3rd ODI, Mirpur January 7, 2010

Kohli comes of age

Virat Kohli threatened to go the Rohit Sharma way and waste his initial chances in a land with tough competition for middle-order spots, but his innings at Mirpur today has signalled his journey to maturity
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That 300 is the new 250 on the modern, flat batting pitches has been known for some time. Last month, this contempt for what used to be a stiff target was on show during the fourth ODI between India and Sri Lanka in Kolkata. Today, the ease with which MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli chased down 297 - after three quick wickets had fallen - felt slightly strange to watch. Both bowling attacks - Sri Lanka's in Kolkata and Bangladesh's tonight - weren't great, the pitch was dead long before the game began and there was the dew factor. But surely, chasing down 300 shouldn't be so easy?

Whatever happened to the frenetic, panic-filled high-adrenalin chases? Weren't you supposed to take high risks and go hammer and tongs against the new ball, slow things down in the middle overs, before hunting down the steep required run-rate in a thrilling final-over finish?

Like in Kolkata, India wrapped it up here with more than an over to spare. The players weren't high on adrenalin, the crowd looked on almost silently, perhaps even puzzled a touch, and Indian batsmen walked off as if they had chased 230.

Whether this new order - dull, high-scoring games on flat tracks - is good or bad for cricket is a debate for another day. But both these games have showcased Kohli's journey towards maturity.

Not that long ago Kohli was an impish boy, seemingly in love with his own talent. Ray Jennings, his Royal Challengers Bangalore coach, described him as "a very talented kid [who] sometimes thinks he is better than the game." It's his strength and weakness. That confidence, though, gives him the X-factor that makes him stand out in the crowd of India's fringe players. He is not a prodigy but walks around with the confidence of one.

It annoyed some and thrilled others, however, that he threatened to go the Rohit Sharma way and waste his initial chances in a land with tough competition for middle-order spots. His dismissals were typical - either too aggressive or a wrongly timed 'cute' shot. Kolkata, where he notched up his maiden hundred, marked a turning point. A forty-minute flight east to Dhaka and it has got even better.

There weren't any flamboyant, audacious shots today, none to please the crowd or his ego. He accumulated almost quietly, as much as is possible with the asking rate close to 7. He played several back-foot punches, stretched out to play the square-drives and pinged long-on and long-off to rotate the strike. Even his dismissal was not characteristic: there was no arrogance in the shot selection, he was just done in the flight by a good ball.

In Kolkata, he had Gambhir as a partner. Today he had equally solid company in his captain Dhoni, who felt Kohli has come a long way from where he started. Asked about the world's perception of Kohli, Dhoni said, "He has grabbed his chances. It's important for him to be himself. You have to show off what you are and he has matured now. To us, he comes as a humble guy. He might come across differently to the world."

What he said next was more revealing. "Being a good human being is important but it can come later, what's important now is that he [Kohli] scores on the field. He is an aggressive lad and it's important for him to be himself - you have to show off what you are. The good thing is, he is learning to bat long innings and through pressure situations."

He has grabbed his chances. It's important for him to be himself. You have to show off what you are and he has matured now. To us, he comes as a 'humble guy'. He might come across different to the world
MS Dhoni on Virat Kohli

That's something Dhoni has been doing very well for a long time. It's incredible that he has a Michael Bevan-esque average of nearly 52 from 156 ODIs. To say that Dhoni's century tonight was a typical effort would appear as a belittlement, but in truth it's a tribute. He has such mastery over his batting that he seems to be on an auto pilot on flat tracks. He has almost taken out risk from his batsmanship and, considering what an adrenalin-feeding marauder he used to be, it's no small feat.

The strange ugliness to his batting and the efficient, ruthless monotony that accompanies it, is almost fascinating to watch. Today he started by collecting singles with his customary pushes to square of the wicket before slowly starting to drive down the ground. Then came a stage where he started using his crease well; where previously he was lunging forward a lot, he started to go back or forward to create room for his punches and drives. The big shots came later, once he was well settled. It's how he mostly plays these days; it's a comfortable routine honed to perfection.

Bangladesh didn't have a chance against such ruthlessness. Perhaps, as captain Shakib Al Hasan himself admitted later, they erred by not attacking enough when Dhoni and Kohli were starting off. "I made a big mistake by spreading the field bit too much," said Shakib. "I should have had one more fielder in the circle and put more pressure. I am learning every day."

Bangladesh would hope that Shakib, otherwise a wonderful wholehearted performer with both bat and ball, goes through his captaincy learning curve quickly. India on the other hand, would be happy that the young Kohli has started on his journey to manhood.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harish8207 on January 11, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    Great!!Really Great!! for Indian Cricket Team..

    We've got our Rahul Dravid ak in the form of Virat who is defensive and also aggressive..

    After Sachin retires,Sehwag&Gambhir would open and Kohli as 1 down..

  • Amit_4_Sachin on January 9, 2010, 8:16 GMT

    Kohli is a great batsman in the making. He has natural grace in his batting (and so does Rohit Sharma). The only problem he has is he becomes greedy and tries a shot a little too cute and gives his wicket away (same was the problem with Rohit). Hope he doesn't go Rohit's way and knocks Yuvraj, the only weak link in India's Test team.

    Regarding Kaif, he was a workhorse and didn't have the flamboyance and class to excel at the highest level.

  • aryaman1994 on January 9, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    Well said Skids, very well said. not only does Dhoni bat in a risk free manner, he also manages to score at a strike rate of 100 consistently. With an average of 52 & strike rate 0f 90, you would pick him in any team as a batsman alone, but guess what? He also captains and keeps!!!

  • AnandPriyaRahul on January 9, 2010, 4:55 GMT

    i'm very happy with kohli innings. He played very well but the man of the match was given to ms dhoni. this is not fair, man of match was deserves to virat kohli bcoz he was the real anchor of the match....and to give up him confidence dhoni should gave his price to virat...

  • sahil29 on January 8, 2010, 22:38 GMT

    Its good to see that Dhoni now has an unofficial vice captain who can anchor the innings and play sensibly when India are in trouble. Not only will this put Dhoni's mind at ease but the large India supporters out there.

  • CA_Cricket on January 8, 2010, 21:13 GMT

    I think Kholi is bit over-rated here and does not have the charisma of the top order indian batsmen like Gambhir,Sehwag ,Sachin,Dravid. IMO, any decent Ranji trophy player could score a century in Indian sub continent or against Bangladesh,so still long way to go for him before being tested.

  • bibhutiking on January 8, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    Kohli has really announced his arrival and announced that in style. A lot is being talked about his temprament. But those who have closely watched his career would agree about this guy's greatness. The guy who appeared for to the cause for his delhi team the day his father died. You can't talk about the guy's lack of temprament. He has already played two innings which any cricketer would be proud of. You must cheer and boost the confidence of the guy.

  • ccriccfan on January 8, 2010, 18:45 GMT

    Its good about all the talk of Kohli coming to age but he has yet to prove himself at grand level (Australia, South Africa etc). Time will tell. We start jumping to conclusions too soon. Speaking of "coming of age", when will we see a news headline telling of an Indian Bowler or heck even fielding coming of age? In a country of billion people we cant produce even a single quality bowler?? That truly amazes me! BCCI, the richest of all cricket boards, means nothing if it can't use its financial power to solve AGE OLD Problem of Indian Cricket!

  • Skids on January 8, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    I like the way the new Indian batsmen play! Many forget what Dhoni has accomplished over the years for us, coming 3 or 4-5 down and scoring 100's and 150's to help India. All the fans see is the last series, or the last year and scream "bloody murder" whenever anyone heaps praise on a batsman. Very sad Mahi is awesome! Whatta great bastman, keeper and captain! I salute such bravado. He has the instinct and his eye is on ONE thing always - VICTORY! No half hearted attemps, full-bloodied victory! Kohli is good too, from what I've seen. Obviously he needs to get exposure on the swinging, fast pitches of SA or Australia...and that's when his real talent and composure will come come out. I WISH Kohli and Team India all the best! Chak de phattey!

  • IndTheBest on January 8, 2010, 14:46 GMT

    It's too early to start comparing Kohli with Dravid or some other greats. At this point of time I rate him as good as Kaif (when he came in indian team). Let Kohli prove himself before we rate him so high. I still hail his performance in last match that was creditable.

  • Harish8207 on January 11, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    Great!!Really Great!! for Indian Cricket Team..

    We've got our Rahul Dravid ak in the form of Virat who is defensive and also aggressive..

    After Sachin retires,Sehwag&Gambhir would open and Kohli as 1 down..

  • Amit_4_Sachin on January 9, 2010, 8:16 GMT

    Kohli is a great batsman in the making. He has natural grace in his batting (and so does Rohit Sharma). The only problem he has is he becomes greedy and tries a shot a little too cute and gives his wicket away (same was the problem with Rohit). Hope he doesn't go Rohit's way and knocks Yuvraj, the only weak link in India's Test team.

    Regarding Kaif, he was a workhorse and didn't have the flamboyance and class to excel at the highest level.

  • aryaman1994 on January 9, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    Well said Skids, very well said. not only does Dhoni bat in a risk free manner, he also manages to score at a strike rate of 100 consistently. With an average of 52 & strike rate 0f 90, you would pick him in any team as a batsman alone, but guess what? He also captains and keeps!!!

  • AnandPriyaRahul on January 9, 2010, 4:55 GMT

    i'm very happy with kohli innings. He played very well but the man of the match was given to ms dhoni. this is not fair, man of match was deserves to virat kohli bcoz he was the real anchor of the match....and to give up him confidence dhoni should gave his price to virat...

  • sahil29 on January 8, 2010, 22:38 GMT

    Its good to see that Dhoni now has an unofficial vice captain who can anchor the innings and play sensibly when India are in trouble. Not only will this put Dhoni's mind at ease but the large India supporters out there.

  • CA_Cricket on January 8, 2010, 21:13 GMT

    I think Kholi is bit over-rated here and does not have the charisma of the top order indian batsmen like Gambhir,Sehwag ,Sachin,Dravid. IMO, any decent Ranji trophy player could score a century in Indian sub continent or against Bangladesh,so still long way to go for him before being tested.

  • bibhutiking on January 8, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    Kohli has really announced his arrival and announced that in style. A lot is being talked about his temprament. But those who have closely watched his career would agree about this guy's greatness. The guy who appeared for to the cause for his delhi team the day his father died. You can't talk about the guy's lack of temprament. He has already played two innings which any cricketer would be proud of. You must cheer and boost the confidence of the guy.

  • ccriccfan on January 8, 2010, 18:45 GMT

    Its good about all the talk of Kohli coming to age but he has yet to prove himself at grand level (Australia, South Africa etc). Time will tell. We start jumping to conclusions too soon. Speaking of "coming of age", when will we see a news headline telling of an Indian Bowler or heck even fielding coming of age? In a country of billion people we cant produce even a single quality bowler?? That truly amazes me! BCCI, the richest of all cricket boards, means nothing if it can't use its financial power to solve AGE OLD Problem of Indian Cricket!

  • Skids on January 8, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    I like the way the new Indian batsmen play! Many forget what Dhoni has accomplished over the years for us, coming 3 or 4-5 down and scoring 100's and 150's to help India. All the fans see is the last series, or the last year and scream "bloody murder" whenever anyone heaps praise on a batsman. Very sad Mahi is awesome! Whatta great bastman, keeper and captain! I salute such bravado. He has the instinct and his eye is on ONE thing always - VICTORY! No half hearted attemps, full-bloodied victory! Kohli is good too, from what I've seen. Obviously he needs to get exposure on the swinging, fast pitches of SA or Australia...and that's when his real talent and composure will come come out. I WISH Kohli and Team India all the best! Chak de phattey!

  • IndTheBest on January 8, 2010, 14:46 GMT

    It's too early to start comparing Kohli with Dravid or some other greats. At this point of time I rate him as good as Kaif (when he came in indian team). Let Kohli prove himself before we rate him so high. I still hail his performance in last match that was creditable.

  • anObserver on January 8, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    This performance will go in a long time establishment of kohli as middle order batsman. According to me kohli should be tried for the number four spot by the BCCI as we will be having a wide change in the team format when sachin and dravid will retire from the international cricket

  • dpkhbk on January 8, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    I agree with you completelly allsports nothing more to say about dhoni.look at his record in major tournaments like wc champions trophy nothing there his only hope is the flat pitches in 2011 wc but even then only when he does what he usually does

  • blackerthanyourhate on January 8, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    Kohli is a good passionate cricketer, but i still feel he needs to work a lot on his technique, play more of domestic cricket to get himself seasoned..In my opinion he needs to work on tackling outswing deliveries,short pitch...Let him learn and play more of such gritty knocks to become more seasoned..

  • PcDadda on January 8, 2010, 11:30 GMT

    Those who are critical of MSD and allege that he is batting for averages forget that he is undeniably the best finisher after Bevan and the number of games that he has finished for India with Yuvi (and sometimes Raina) for company are innumreable.

  • Pranav17 on January 8, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    Yes virat kohli and dhoni batted very well, even raina did but we cannot forget how badly we bowled and fielded, kohli and dhoni saved us if they didn't we would have been in a tough position, our fielders and bowlers need to pick it up especially harbajan who has dropped catches, misfielded and bowled poorly I think we should bring in amit mishra or pragyan ojha instead of harbajan and sudeep tyagi instead of sreesanth

  • catalyst213 on January 8, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    300 runs are 300 runs good pitch or bad pitch, dew or no dew. I agree that Virat Kohli played fine innings here in Mirpur and also in Eden gardens. I wrong to expect too much, when Kohli has shown that he can play long innings and handle pressure. If it was a flat track how -i agree, but howcome then top 3 batmen were not able to capitalise. Great job Kohli, great job Dhoni, and A Great job India. Keep it up.

  • allsports on January 8, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    It's incredible that he has a Michael Bevan-esque average of nearly 52 from 156 ODIs

    I DONT AGREED THIS PART .Bevan always rescues his team at same position . But Dhoni changes his spot if the team is in good position something like INDIA wer 65+ for 1 in 10 overs (ODI ) or 40+ for 1 in 5 overs (20/20) . He says that hez playing anchor role .... imo anchor role is not needed whn team is in good position . Dhonis anchor role = 3 consecutive loss in 20/20 WC and early exit in ICC knock out ........Finally he got strike rate of <105 in 20/20 .

  • Alexk400 on January 8, 2010, 6:03 GMT

    I am not fan of kohli or anyone who try to imitate sehwag , i think all young indians should imitate rahul dravid , greatest indian batsman ever. Sehwag is unique. Until indian players hit the gym and build a strong body , they should concentrate on temparement and iron will.

    That said kohli is improving his chances in that he is adding small stones in to a jug so water comes to top.

    More scores like that he can replace yuvi in Test Matches.

    Another so called great talent rohit sharma talking big , nothing to show. Anything less than a century won't cut it for rohit sharma. Him and raina will be in musical chair until next young batsman arrives.

    These young players should grab chances put mammoth score like dravid used to do before he got selected into Indian team.

    I am not convinced of any of these young players , mainly i think they are not strong enough to great players , they are just play like indian bowlers who goes in to maintenance mode once they got selected.

  • Night.angel on January 8, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    india win matches only because of their batsman. when batsman fails.. so the team. how can harbhajan always drops simple chances?? nehra is another poor fielder, he can bowl some good bowl but usually gives away runs while on fielding , zaheer is not natural athlete but he gives best, india can afford to have one slowish fielder in field either zaheer or nehra. why cant try some new faces who can bowl 150kmp. do we have ANY ? (out of billion people) . as about kohli he is good. I guess somewhere in future we have a replacement for dravid when he retires .. i dont know if he can bat long. but he proved he can bat in pressure situations.

  • Percy_Fender on January 8, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    In the U 19 World Cup which India won, Kohli had been very good as a batsman. In fact he resembled Rahul Dravid in his strokes and style of play. Where he seemed to differ from the great man was in his exuberance and celebratory style. That seemed an aberration indeed because somehow brashness and greatness do not go together. It is this perhaps that gave Kohli only limited initial success in the IPL with the Royal Challengers. Coaches like Ray Jennings seldom get it wrong when they judge the attitude of a player having seen so many wards in their chosen profession of imparting training.His comment about Kohli was spot on in my opinion and may have even been the cure needed. I hope Virat will realise that it is far better to be a sedate rather than a demonstrative performer. Encomiums will come automatically with match winning performances.Cameos are seldom remembered even from greats of the game. Match winning innings are etched in stone.

  • Kannamma on January 8, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    zBATmanz. I Beg to defer. In both his innings he buckled down and played a composed innings full of character trimming down all the frills and saw India through. At 51 for 3 in the second match, chasing 296 with only Dhoni and Raina of the batsmen to come he stuck it out to the task and played a commendable innings. I think he has definitely come of age and will play many more such innings. But the only thing is when Sachin comes back he will not find a place in the eleven. Raina is a better finisher at No.6. Or Jadeja will have to give way with Yuvraj and Sehwag sharing the fifth bowler's slot, which is a bit of a risk if any one bowler is off-colour on that particular day. Anyway all the best Virat.

  • Sidhanta-Patnaik on January 8, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    all this reminds me of the day Kohli had lost his dad (debut match for Delhi in Ranji Trophy) and he went on to play a class innings to save Delhi. TEMPERAMENT. Hope he makes the best of it.

  • maxr on January 8, 2010, 4:42 GMT

    Is this article meant for "Kohli coming of age" or the omnipresent quotidian efforts of dhoni. As for as kohli is concerned he has to prove his abilities against the best of bowling attacks in the worst of batting conditions. he still has a long way to go for that. But having said all that, he is definitely the man for the future.

  • zBATmanz on January 8, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    Too early to jump to conclusions.Both his good innings were on a good batting track against a weak bowling attack in wet conditions where it was extremely easy to bat. He has to prove his worth against good bowling attacks under pressure in big matches consistently to actually "come of age"

  • Rahul_78 on January 7, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    Another win achieved by batsmens but what about the efforts in the field? 15 odd wides, 5 odd no balls, 2-3 dropped catches and missed run outs. Lots of leaked runs at the start with new ball..where is the improvement? The true picture was shown by aussies who won a sreries in india despite playing with 3 to 4 mainstream players..how long batsmen are going to win matches for india?

  • White_Mouse on January 7, 2010, 21:22 GMT

    I hope kholi will get selected in test matches soon. Since he is showing lot of patience in terms of making singles and twos in the middle overs. That is the good things. He will fill the dravid spot in the middle order...But need to wait how is he performing in the outside SC.

  • vakkaraju on January 7, 2010, 21:01 GMT

    It is heartening to see youngsters like Virat make their mark. We also need to stop judging these impressionable youngsters and expecting them to behave in a predetermined fashion. If they are confident bordering on arrogance so be it. Work with them they will mellow in a couple of years. These fellows have achieved a lot for their age. Give them credit.

  • Indianmaster on January 7, 2010, 20:48 GMT

    "Whatever happened to the frenetic, panic-filled high-adrenalin chases? Weren't you supposed to take high risks and go hammer and tongs against the new ball, slow things down in the middle overs, before hunting down the steep required run-rate in a thrilling final-over finish? "

    Although, India had lost 3 wickets, the RR was above 7 and asking rate was 5.77. It certainly gave India (Kholi/Dhoni) to settle down and get runs in single. As you may have noticed, the run rate dipped in the initial partnership between MSD/VK but then once settled, they were able to recuperate that. That's what Sehwag/Gambhir or Sehwag or Gambhir gives rest of the batsmen to come in the lower order. Elevated run rate, if you lose few wickets, start rebuilding slowly.

    If India wants to retain #1 or 2 spot in ICC ranking, they have improve fielding by 150% and bowling by 75%. Today's effort was very embarrassing based on the ranking they have today. Batting line up can give you win here and there but con

  • arup_g on January 7, 2010, 20:42 GMT

    Well done Virat! I sincerely hope you don't go down the path of Rohit Sharma. You've done well as Indian under 19 captain and now shown your quality at the top level. My question is where does Virat fit into the ODI outfit when Sachin comes back? Gambhir will drop down to 3. which leaves Yuvraj and Dhoni occupying 4 and 5. Does that mean Raina goes? or Virat and Raina are at head to head for that final top 6 batting position? I can't see Virat being a finisher at 6, as i feel he is better at 3 or 4 where he can build an innings and take his time. Raina is much more of a finisher. It's a great dilemma to have as an Indian selector but a very important decision for the future of two indian youngsters, but for the mean time well done Virat keep it up!

  • pankajkumarsingh on January 7, 2010, 20:10 GMT

    Exactly, this is what I am hoping to see. We need to find the Kohlis and the Rainas. I am not a huge Kohil fan (not yet anyway). But we need to depend on these young talents. Post Sachin/Ganguli/Sehwag, these are the guys who would help India (Dhoni, if I may add) keep the Indian team at the top thru the next decade. It upsets me when I read comments like "India snatched victory from jaws of defeat today". Yes, it was not-so-great to have lost Sehwag/Gambhir/Yuvraj for less than 100 runs while chasing almost 300. But we still had Dhoni/Raina/Kohli/Jadeja. These kids (if we can/should call them kids) will have to make sure India wins even if they are 3 down for 80 odd runs. I am hoping to see more of Yuvraj, Raina and Kohli in the future against bigger teams like Aus and SA. Good for India .. good for Indian fans like me :).

  • Koushik_Biswas on January 7, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    International cricket is about being a character. That's because you have to give your best, and when you focus hard on doing that, you cannot focus on pretense or projection of your image. You cannot keep on thinking about how others will analyze your fist pumping - if you got to pump your fists to perform, either you do that, perform and stay or you shelf your expressions, fail and get lost. Expressing themselves within the socially acceptable limits is, therefore, something to be encouraged in youngsters. While we have our share of Kumbles and Dravids whose external "air" does not send any messages - they are the exceptions rather than rule. Ponting's dismissive gesture, Sachin's neck straightening and crotch adjustment, Sreesanth's antics, Shoaib's airplane - sends ripples through the opponent and audience alike: it is a gesture that says "I have arrived, and I mean business". Ganguly's bare chested primal like thumping was voice loud enough. Let Kohli flourish the way he wants to.

  • manasvi_lingam on January 7, 2010, 19:28 GMT

    It isn't fair to Kohli to be compared with such an underachiever as Rohit Sharma. In the 15 innings that Kohli has played he's got 5 scores of 50 and above. Sharma in contrast had only 4 such scores out of 38 innings! A year ago, everyone hailed Duminy as one of the 3 brightest batsmen on the block. Now, he's in danger of losing his place. Yes, let's celebrate Kohli's achievements (an avg of 45) but not get carried away. As for Dhoni, I've never seen a batsmen whose style of playing is so inelegant and clumsy and yet he aggregates tons of runs! He's the ODI equivalent of Chanderpaul. Unorthodox shots, a good deal of patience and adaptability and a mountain of runs.

  • raamanujan on January 7, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    Nice article Sriram. Kohli is a man to watch for the future.

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  • raamanujan on January 7, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    Nice article Sriram. Kohli is a man to watch for the future.

  • manasvi_lingam on January 7, 2010, 19:28 GMT

    It isn't fair to Kohli to be compared with such an underachiever as Rohit Sharma. In the 15 innings that Kohli has played he's got 5 scores of 50 and above. Sharma in contrast had only 4 such scores out of 38 innings! A year ago, everyone hailed Duminy as one of the 3 brightest batsmen on the block. Now, he's in danger of losing his place. Yes, let's celebrate Kohli's achievements (an avg of 45) but not get carried away. As for Dhoni, I've never seen a batsmen whose style of playing is so inelegant and clumsy and yet he aggregates tons of runs! He's the ODI equivalent of Chanderpaul. Unorthodox shots, a good deal of patience and adaptability and a mountain of runs.

  • Koushik_Biswas on January 7, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    International cricket is about being a character. That's because you have to give your best, and when you focus hard on doing that, you cannot focus on pretense or projection of your image. You cannot keep on thinking about how others will analyze your fist pumping - if you got to pump your fists to perform, either you do that, perform and stay or you shelf your expressions, fail and get lost. Expressing themselves within the socially acceptable limits is, therefore, something to be encouraged in youngsters. While we have our share of Kumbles and Dravids whose external "air" does not send any messages - they are the exceptions rather than rule. Ponting's dismissive gesture, Sachin's neck straightening and crotch adjustment, Sreesanth's antics, Shoaib's airplane - sends ripples through the opponent and audience alike: it is a gesture that says "I have arrived, and I mean business". Ganguly's bare chested primal like thumping was voice loud enough. Let Kohli flourish the way he wants to.

  • pankajkumarsingh on January 7, 2010, 20:10 GMT

    Exactly, this is what I am hoping to see. We need to find the Kohlis and the Rainas. I am not a huge Kohil fan (not yet anyway). But we need to depend on these young talents. Post Sachin/Ganguli/Sehwag, these are the guys who would help India (Dhoni, if I may add) keep the Indian team at the top thru the next decade. It upsets me when I read comments like "India snatched victory from jaws of defeat today". Yes, it was not-so-great to have lost Sehwag/Gambhir/Yuvraj for less than 100 runs while chasing almost 300. But we still had Dhoni/Raina/Kohli/Jadeja. These kids (if we can/should call them kids) will have to make sure India wins even if they are 3 down for 80 odd runs. I am hoping to see more of Yuvraj, Raina and Kohli in the future against bigger teams like Aus and SA. Good for India .. good for Indian fans like me :).

  • arup_g on January 7, 2010, 20:42 GMT

    Well done Virat! I sincerely hope you don't go down the path of Rohit Sharma. You've done well as Indian under 19 captain and now shown your quality at the top level. My question is where does Virat fit into the ODI outfit when Sachin comes back? Gambhir will drop down to 3. which leaves Yuvraj and Dhoni occupying 4 and 5. Does that mean Raina goes? or Virat and Raina are at head to head for that final top 6 batting position? I can't see Virat being a finisher at 6, as i feel he is better at 3 or 4 where he can build an innings and take his time. Raina is much more of a finisher. It's a great dilemma to have as an Indian selector but a very important decision for the future of two indian youngsters, but for the mean time well done Virat keep it up!

  • Indianmaster on January 7, 2010, 20:48 GMT

    "Whatever happened to the frenetic, panic-filled high-adrenalin chases? Weren't you supposed to take high risks and go hammer and tongs against the new ball, slow things down in the middle overs, before hunting down the steep required run-rate in a thrilling final-over finish? "

    Although, India had lost 3 wickets, the RR was above 7 and asking rate was 5.77. It certainly gave India (Kholi/Dhoni) to settle down and get runs in single. As you may have noticed, the run rate dipped in the initial partnership between MSD/VK but then once settled, they were able to recuperate that. That's what Sehwag/Gambhir or Sehwag or Gambhir gives rest of the batsmen to come in the lower order. Elevated run rate, if you lose few wickets, start rebuilding slowly.

    If India wants to retain #1 or 2 spot in ICC ranking, they have improve fielding by 150% and bowling by 75%. Today's effort was very embarrassing based on the ranking they have today. Batting line up can give you win here and there but con

  • vakkaraju on January 7, 2010, 21:01 GMT

    It is heartening to see youngsters like Virat make their mark. We also need to stop judging these impressionable youngsters and expecting them to behave in a predetermined fashion. If they are confident bordering on arrogance so be it. Work with them they will mellow in a couple of years. These fellows have achieved a lot for their age. Give them credit.

  • White_Mouse on January 7, 2010, 21:22 GMT

    I hope kholi will get selected in test matches soon. Since he is showing lot of patience in terms of making singles and twos in the middle overs. That is the good things. He will fill the dravid spot in the middle order...But need to wait how is he performing in the outside SC.

  • Rahul_78 on January 7, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    Another win achieved by batsmens but what about the efforts in the field? 15 odd wides, 5 odd no balls, 2-3 dropped catches and missed run outs. Lots of leaked runs at the start with new ball..where is the improvement? The true picture was shown by aussies who won a sreries in india despite playing with 3 to 4 mainstream players..how long batsmen are going to win matches for india?

  • zBATmanz on January 8, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    Too early to jump to conclusions.Both his good innings were on a good batting track against a weak bowling attack in wet conditions where it was extremely easy to bat. He has to prove his worth against good bowling attacks under pressure in big matches consistently to actually "come of age"