This is true that on any given standard, India’s star batsman Virat Kohli has just been able to record a modest World Cup performance so far.

But as usual, all of his Indian teammates are hopeful that this stylish and bold batsman will live up to his reputation as a big-match player when it matters the most, particularly in the crucial semi against Australia. In fact, many of the supporters do believe that apart from a reliable and result oriented bowling by the Indian bowlers, it is the batting of Kohli which will be playing an important role in deciding the end result of the semi. Virat Kohli himself might be waiting to strike well in this very important encounter.  

The vibrant Indian captain, underlining the batting capabilities of Virat Kohli, said, “I don’t think he has batted badly. When he has got an opportunity he has scored runs,” “It’s not that he has scored a century every time he has gone out to bat. But everybody relating his performance with the test series and expecting a hundred in every innings from him.”

It is obvious that keeping in view his past tack record, everyone stays concerned of his contribution in this world famous event and his 22 ODIs centuries averaging almost 52 from 157 matches amply justifies the faith of millions of his supporters. They rightfully count him among India’s best batsmen. It is worthwhile to mention that while replacing Dhoni as test captain for India’s last match against Australia in Sydney in January, Kohli had scored four hundreds in the series and averaged over 86.

 Although Kohli had scored a century in India’s opening World Cup match against Pakistan but thereafter he has not been able to give us a score of fifty plus since. I personally feel that owing to his tussle with an Indian journalist in the recent past, he might have lost a bit of his flow and classy touch. Also he has, on more than one occasion, asked people to stay away from his personal life but once one becomes a celebrity and an icon, such gossips and stories cannot be totally ruled out.

Although anything less than 40 is treated as below average by most of his supporters, but overall his performance after a ton against Pakistan has not been very  poor as he has scored 46, 33 not out, 33, 44 not out, 38 and 3. Dhoni has backed him for a big one soon.

Justifying the performance of Kohli, Dhoni said “I don’t think there has been any poor shot selection. He is a dominant batsman who likes playing his shots when he goes in to bat. It’s quite difficult but at the same time I feel it is important to keep focussing on the process. It’s just around the corner and big players always score in big games.”

As one of my friend, a former Ranji trophy player, always insists, “It is better to expect a quick fire brand 60-70 runs from Kohli in $5 -50 balls than to hope for a century coming out of balls at par.” Hope you agree!


    Established sports writer across various global platforms

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