Virat Kohli is an aggressive batsman. He does not let the bowler dominate himself. He is a natural stroke player and believes in playing freely. Knows how to score runs. But these qualities alone do not make him the top batsman in the world. Fitness, mental toughness and all such things are what sets Virat apart from the rest of the players. One of them is to understand the situation and adapt to it when needed.
On the second day of the final of the World Test Championship in Southampton, this quality of Kohli came out the most. There were clouds in the sky. Coolness in the air. and moisture on the pitch. That is, overall the perfect environment for fast and seam bowling. From above, not one or two but four pacers in New Zealand’s team. And after winning the toss from above, New Zealand decided to bat first. That is, the Kiwi team was already seen standing ahead in this race. But the way the Indian batsmen performed, by the end of the day’s play, the opinion of the experts started to change.
Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill were opening in England for the first time. Cricket experts say that the most difficult task for any batsman in England is to open the batting on the opening day of the game (there was no play on the first day here). And from above, when the conditions are favorable for bowling, then the difficulties for the batsman increase. But Rohit and Gill handled the situation well. He dropped the balls at the start and set himself up. kept control. And also did not miss opportunities to make strokes on weak balls. In the initial period, the biggest challenge is figured out.
Pujara continued to play in his own style but could not make the innings bigger. But the innings that forced everyone to praise was Virat Kohli. Kohli has scored 44 runs. 124 balls played i.e. around 21 overs. But his batting is not tiring, there seems to be a manageable pause. He is not playing unnecessary shots. His eyes are on the big score. He knows that the pressure of the scoreboard can put any champion team under pressure.
Legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne tweeted that the New Zealand team has not fed any spinners and it is a very wrong decision. If India made 275-300 runs on this wicket and the weather did not disturb, then there is no chance for New Zealand. Warne believes that this wicket will turn. And if Warne’s words turn out to be true, then two spinners with runs on the scoreboard will prove to be the trump card.
Kohli has all the qualities of Test batting like restraint, patience and concentration. Legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar observes a positive change in Kohli’s footwork during the commentary. He explains that Kohli’s front foot is straight which gives him more control over the ball coming in. He also sees a change in Kohli’s stance which is helping him understand the line of the ball in England conditions.
The figures also confirm this. Data from ESPNcricinfo shows that Kohli has played 25 of his 44 runs at cover and backward point. That is, he is understanding the ball going out and is playing it with control.
The Kiwi bowlers are constantly tempting Kohli with the balls going outside the off-stump. Kohli has stuck to this in the past. But here he is not chasing those balls. He is letting them go. During the match, VVS Laxman says in the show that if a batsman is confidently leaving the balls outside the off-stump, then the game is in his control. Statistics were showing that Kohli was in complete control while playing more than 90 per cent of the balls.
Virat’s batting shows that he can play calmly when needed. Together with Pujara and then Rahane, he has laid the basis of a big score for India. He has worked hard to save and build his innings. If Kohli maintains the same spirit in the third day’s play, then his bat in the final of the World Test Championship can be helpful in creating history.