Jab hurts Kohli but still a long way to KO
IT’S the sneaky statistic Australian fans are only prepared to whisper behind cupped hands.
In Virat Kohli’s last six Test innings against Australia, featuring a series in India last year, he has managed just 49 runs at just over eight per innings.
No, it does not mean Australia has the wood on him because he has six centuries in 16 Tests against them and an average against them which floats around 50.
But still, Australia has somehow landed a cheeky little run of left jabs against the world’s best player.
As great as Kohli is, he, like his less talented top order teammates, are prisoners of the sort of cricket they have been playing and the mindset they are trying to play with.
Kolhi likes to play gung- ho cricket. And he wants the team to play that way as well which is dangerous when his teammates are not as talented as he is.
Generally it works for him but it can make him occasionally vulnerable to dismissals like yesterday’s when Australia bowled straight and true for almost every ball of his short innings before baiting the hook just wide of off- stump.
His flashing blade edged to Usman Khawaja in the gully whose one- handed snare may yet be remembered as the most significant moment of the series. You sense that this will be the blueprint for Australia against Kohli for the series.
Challenge his ego. Make him want to dominate you. He is so good that he can overcome any game plan and normally does. But it should make for an engaging contest.
It was significant that amid the men who could not resist temptation the lone warrior to stand out was Cheteshwah Pujura, the only member of the squad who does not have an Indian Premier League contract, an old fashioned Test match warrior who shed the limelight.
Australia can be proud of their performance in the field.
The opening spells of Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc were collectively the quickest recorded by Cricviz in Test cricket this year.
Australia needed a solid start and got one. There is still much hard work ahead.