Brilliant Kohli shows seniors how to bat

Written by: Aprameya .C
Published: Thursday, January 26, 2012, 12:18 [IST]
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Kohli announces his Test arrival

At last, we have a century from an Indian batsman in Australia. It was not from one of the batting stalwarts in the team but a young 23-year-old playing in only his eighth Test. What a knock from Virat Kohli when the rest of his team-mates once again, yes, once again, flopped.

It was refreshing to see Kohli get to his maiden Test ton at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday, a day when India celebrated the Republic Day.

At the end of the third day's play, it was a nice gesture by Australian captain Michael Clarke to wait and congratulate Kohli on a wonderful knock. He too would have known how good an innings it was.

Also read: Don't judge me after just one Test: Kohli

While the Australian bowlers made it a perfect Australia Day, Kohli emerged as a bright spot on a disastrous tour Down Under.

There was never an iota of doubt about the Delhi right-hander's talent. He had proved in 74 One Day Internationals with eight hundreds at an impressive average of 46.88. The only question about his ability was, did he have it in him to translate that form into the Test arena. And he has given ample proof of that with a magnificent knock of 116 in Adelaide. He now has 278 runs in the series, the most by an Indian.

On a bright and sunny day in Adelaide, Kohli stood tall among the ruins. First, he stitched a century partnership with wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and once again he was in a similar situation to that of Perth where he was running out of partners.

But this time, he was not stranded and deservedly got to his ton with his Delhi pal Ishant Sharma for company. A Test century is always special and he would always remember this effort.

In the previous Test in Perth, he had top scored for the team in both innings with 44 and 75. He looked settled in both those knocks and that would have give him a lot of confidence.

Kohli's batting exhibition was a lesson for the big boys in the team. On a track full of runs, one cannot explain the abject surrender of the team for just 272 runs. Sachin Tendulkar (25), Rahul Dravid (1), VVS Laxman (18) and stand-in captain Virender Sehwag (18) were upstaged by Kohli.

With Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman nearing their end of careers, may be it is time for Kohli to move up the order and take the number three slot once Dravid vacates it. Kohli is a strokemaker and can help the side in one-drop position.

When Kohli made his entry into Test cricket in June last year, it was not a smooth start.

Picked for the tour of West Indies for a three-match series, he began with 4 and 15. That followed with a nought and 27. In the final Test he touched 30. A quiet series with just 76 runs in five innings.

When the same West Indian team came to India, he notched two half centuries in the first Test in Mumbai and later had three low scores.

In the current series, he began poorly like the rest, with 11 and zero in Melbourne. After those lows, there were calls for him to be replaced with another talented batsman Rohit Sharma. However, the team decided to give him a long run and he has made it count. Kohli had hit back at his critics by asking them not to judge him just after one Test in his first visit to Australia.

This knock is a major confidence booster to the Under-19 World Cup winning captain and has announced his arrival in the five-day format. It is time for the selectors to test other talented youngsters as well. You won't know what they can do until they are given a chance.


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