Free Press Journal

India vs Sri Lanka! Is Virat Kohli the ‘Don Bradman’ of ODI cricket?


India’s tour of Sri Lanka has gone on expected lines and all the contests have been terribly one-sided. India, after completing the whitewash in the Test series (3-0), are currently leading 4-0 in the limited overs series; they won the fourth ODI at Colombo by 168 runs. India, the powerhouse of world cricket have once again proved that even after resting players such as Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, there is an abundance of talent and sky is the limit for this hungry and dynamic one day team.

Indian captain Virat Kohli is playing his game on a different level altogether and on Thursday, the ‘chosen one’ once again proved that why he is one of the best one-day batsman of all time. Kohli’s knock of 131 off 96 balls, hitting 17 fours and two maximums and striking at close to 137 runs per 100 balls. The knock by Delhi dasher would not even rank in his top five innings, but with utter disdain that he attacked hapless Sri Lankan bowlers and if Kohli hadn’t got bored, he might have scored a double hundred as well.

Is Kohli in the league of his own? Is he unstoppable in coloured clothing? Can he break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 tons? These questions will be answered in due course of time, but going by the current form, the task of breaking milestones after milestones has been a routine thing for Virat Kohli. The Indian skipper has 46 international hundreds (29 in ODIs and 17 in Tests) and the amusing thing about this statistic is that Kohli is only 28 years old and he is, possibly, yet to reach his prime.

Also read: Sri Lanka fail to seal ICC World Cup direct qualification

Whenever people talk about legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Glenn McGrath, the first thing they talk about is work ethic and dedication. Kohli has gone on record to say that he completely changed his erratic lifestyle to be the best in his field and the results are there for everybody to see. Kohli’s game is based on solid technique, unflappable temperament and doing the one percenters right to achieve optimum performance. He revels in pressure situation and will not take a backward step no matter what situation of the game. The transformation from brash, spoilt youngster to a winner has taken its time and the maturity has helped his game tremendously. The record of Kohli in limited overs cricket, 29 tons (11 batting first; 18 batting second) and has been rightfully called as the modern day chase master.

The game of cricket is unpredictable and uncertain and invariably Kohli will also suffer a dip in form. Kohli has proved his mettle all over the world and left his mark in all conditions. The next challenge for Kohli as captain and player will be to perform in hostile conditions and with the rate that this Indian team is going, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Kohli and his boys conquer all conditions and India becomes the powerhouse of cricket on and off the field.