With Kohli having a ball, no point in delaying the inevitable

With Kohli having a ball, no point in delaying the inevitable

Submitted by alvin on Sat, 2016-05-21 11:12 The time is apt for Virat Kohli to be elevated to captaincy in all formats of the game. His leadership has been the talking point in the current edition of the Indian Premier League. He has led from the front, motivated his ranks, won matches on his own and shown great character to get onto the field even after sustaining an injury. When AB de Villiers admits that he and his RCB mates have been inspired by Kohli’s leadership, we ought to take this seriously. The Delhite has shown maturity of late. His characteristic aggression is on the wane. He has understood the responsibility of leading a national team. He is ready to take over the mantle from Mahender Singh Dhoni in the ODIs and T20s. He showed great tenacity when Dhoni suddenly jumped the Indian Test ship during the Australian tour. Kohli wasn’t hesitant to throw a challenge to the Aussies, pressing for a win when the chips were down. He was consistent with the bat, taming the Aussie fast bowlers with fortitude and gutsy stroke play. India may have lost the Test series, but the boys returned home with a belief that they could beat Australia in its own den. That was a big positive. Though Dhoni may have casually hinted that he would like to play in the 2019 ICC T20 World Cup, deep down in his heart he understands that time is up for him. He has served Indian cricket well, leading the country to two World Cup triumphs – ICC T20 (2007) and 2011 World Cup. He has to move on. If Dhoni doesn’t take the call, the selectors would have to, in the larger interest of Indian cricket. India has to prepare for future events. A young team with a dynamic captain for all formats will be the mantra to success. Kohli has been in the form of his life, batting with exceptional class and dominance. He has been a nightmare to bowlers in all formats of the game. The way he has been churning up hundreds in the T20 format makes us believe that he could demolish Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI centuries in less than three years. Mr Cricket has already notched up 25 hundreds in his illustrious career. Like Tendulkar did most of his ODI career, Kohli should open the innings, as he has shown the penchant to bat deep into the end overs and carry his bat through the innings. He should partner Rohit Sharma at the top of the order. Considering his commitment to the game, work ethics, technique, skill, dexterity and all-round stroke play, he could possibly score hundreds in less than 25 overs in the ODIs, that is if the 50-over format continues to find favour with the ICC cricket committee, buffs and sponsors. The Indian run-machine has been applauded by Chris Gayle and de Villiers. They believe he is the best batsman around in world cricket, though they themselves are a class act. Great tribute, indeed. This is merely an observation from the ongoing IPL. Gayle smashes the ball with gay abandon when he is in nick. The South African, creates space and angles within the batting crease, to play some extraordinary strokes, shots that aren't in the cricket manual. But Kohli is different. He is as aggressive as Gayle and Villiers. But he plays cricketing shots all the time. When he hits, he hits clean and hard. The placement is precise. Gayle could win you three of ten matches; Villiers could win you six of ten. But Kohli will win eight games for you. Consistency has been the hallmark of his career thus far. He will continue to entertain us until the day he hangs up his boots. If Kohli is given the responsibility to lead in all formats of the game, Indian cricket would thrive. Cricket buffs will be enthused. When the fans are happy, there will more sponsors. The BCCI would be richer.