Kohli, Captaincy and Winning – Hand in Hand – Netra Venkat
Captain Kohli has yet again proved to be one of the finest run-chase masters India has produced or the world has seen. He led the team through a fantastic chase against England in the first ODI at Pune on Jan 15, 2017. 350 for 7 was the highest score posted by England against India in all ODIs. It was also the fourth most classic chase in the history of ODIs.
The English Innings
England’s top scorer was none other than its fantabulous batsman Joe Root. His innings grew by whacking the ball and he scored 78 runs off 95 balls. Stokes also went wild with 62 off just 40 balls. They ensured the head start given by opener Jason Roy was not wasted.
Unexpected turn with the bat. An Impressive Win by the Indians
Who would have thought that India would make a dramatic comeback after being down at 63 for Four? Winning the match with a six by R.Ashwin…. Yes, England had plundered 105 runs off the last 8 overs in their innings. However this paled in comparison to India’s answer. Kedar Jadhav and Virat Kohli went berserk with their bats. Kohli’s amazing six off Woakes is still being discussed.
The local boy Kedar Jadhav proved his worth in the Indian team by scoring 120 runs off 76 balls becoming just the fifth Indian batsman to score a century in ODIs at his home ground (Pune). He along with his captain scored 200 odd runs for the fifth wicket after which it was up to Hardik Pandya and R.Ashwin to wrap up the match.
.Captaincy and Dhoni
Though M.S.Dhoni has given up captaincy, it looks like captaincy doesn’t want to give him up too soon. We saw Kohli consulting his predecessor to set the field and getting the angles right through the course of the match. Also, a telling moment was when the Indians appealed for England captain Eoin Morgan’s (who was playing quite well) crucial wicket. Morgan edged the ball into Dhoni’s gloves. When the umpire was unmoved by the appeal, Dhoni immediately asked for review. This was before Captian Kohli could request the umpire as per protocol. Of course in these cases, the keeper knows best. The result swung in ‘Mahi way’.
Chasing Dreams. Reams and Records get rewritten?
Kohli has taken only 15 innings to reach five ODI hundreds while leading a side. Also only 169 innings to reach 27 ODI hundreds. Sachin Tendulkar took 254 innings for the same landmark. Having already equaled the master blaster’s record of 17 centuries while chasing, Kohli feels that he might not even play enough to touch his idol’s record of 100 international centuries (49 Centuries in 452 ODI Innings) . It would be interesting to see Kohli trying his best to push the ‘boundaries’ and create new records in the second ODI at Cuttack on Jan.19, 2017. Vive La Virat!
(Netra is a Student of M.O.P. Vaishnav College, Chennai and is interested in Sports, Films and Music)