COOL KOHLI IS A CLASS ACT
Kohli shows his maturity with record-breaking double century
Every grey hair in Virat Kohli’s beard seemed to have added a tonne of maturity to his game as he teamed up with Ajinkya Rahane to rewrite the record books on Day 2 of the third Test against New Zealand in Indore. Kohli crossed 3,500 Test runs en route to his highest Test score of 211, while Rahane was unlucky to fall for 188 after going past 2,000 Test runs in the process.
Kohli’s recent run of poor form seemed like stuff of the distant past as he built his innings, resisting the urge to attack the short ball and leaving anything wide outside the off stump.
Statisticians were kept busy throughout as both batsmen crossed important milestones during the course of the day.
Kohli laid further claim to his record-beater tag by becoming the first Indian to score two double hundreds as captain. His 366ball innings was classical Test-match batting – his shots were elegant and weighted with no sign of disdain even for the sloppy half-tracker.
Kohli has always come back strongly after a lean patch and worked on his weaknesses. He has always countered bowlers and has continued to evolve every aspect of his game.
His celebration on reaching 200 had much to say about his innings and his evolution as a Test batsman.
Commentators and observers were beginning to entertain the opinion that Test captaincy had taken a toll on his batting, but his display against the New Zealand bowling attack completely derailed that train of thought.
Known for his counter-attacking and aggressive batting Kohli gave every bowler his due respect.
He effortlessly made the shift from playing cross batted swats at shorter deliveries to showing them the full face of his vertical bat.
Cramps and tiredness did seem to creep in as Kohli walked out at tea and it wasn’t long before he was trapped leg before attempting to whip a delivery from spinner Jeetan Patel to midwicket. But the damage was already done and the pair had put together India’s highest fourthwicket partnership - 365 - bettering Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman’s 353 in the fourth Test against Australia in Sydney in 2004.
While it is hard to say if Kohli’s patient innings is the beginning of a new him in Test cricket or if it was just what he needed to get back much-needed confidence, the effectiveness of his game seems to still be on point.
Opponents will now have to plan for the patient, poised and mature Virat Kohli to go with the aggressive, domineering and flamboyant one.
CAPTAIN SUPREME: Indian skipper Virat Kohli