All eyes on struggling Virat

New Delhi: The age-old cliche that “You can either love him or hate him but you can’t ignore him” fits aptly to Virat Kohli in the manner his peers and rivals look up to him even when he is going through one of the leanest patches in his international career.

While the poor form has been a prolonged one, but there is no denying that Kohli grabbed the maximum eyeballs during India’s two-and-half-hour training session on the eve of the second one-dayer between India and the West Indies at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground.

“We discuss a lot of things, obviously we are very good friends, but he is mentally a very strong character. It’s good to see him remain positive all this while. I’m sure he’ll be back in form soon and score lots of runs,” Dhawan said when a reporter asked if he had any advice for Kohli.

When Bravo was asked about Kohli’s manner of dismissal in the first ODI, he was sporting enough to acknowledge the talent and ability of the Delhi youngster.

“Virat is a fantastic player and will score a lot of runs. I wish him a lot of success in the World Cup but for the time being, we would like to ensure that his lean patch continues,” Bravo said with a straight face during the media conference on the eve of the second ODI.

From the moment, Kohli entered the nets, it was not only chief coach Duncan Fletcher, who had his eyes trained on him but also skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the entire media contingent who inspected him with prying eyes.

In the first net, he faced the pace bowlers — mainly net bowlers as Mohit Sharma has been ruled out of the series and Mohammed Shami was given rest during the optional session.

Among the frontline pacers, only Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were available.

While the grumpy looking Fletcher observed Kohli keenly, one saw a few deliveries from the net bowlers finding the thickish outside edge of his bat.

Even Yadav beat his bat a couple of times with pace.

Once Kohli was done with facing the pacers, he took fresh guard at the spinners’ net. He did step out a number of times to Amit Mishra as well as on fewer occasions against Ravindra Jadeja’s left-arm spin. A number of them were struck well but he did mistime a few as well.

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Free Press Journal