oppn parties The Captain Silences His Critics In Typical Style

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The Captain Silences His Critics In Typical Style

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Indian captain has silenced his critics in typical Virat Kohli fashion – by leading from the front and scoring a gritty and invaluable century in the first Test versus England. Even as the Indian middle order collapsed, Kohli stood his ground and along with the tailenders, ensured that India were just 13 runs amiss in the first innings. In the process, Kohli conquered some inner demons and did not allow James Anderson (who has frequently got him out and can lay claim to Kohli being his bunny) to gain an upper hand. It also upstaged the 80 scored by England captain Joe Root, especially since this series has been billed as a fight for supremacy between the two great players.

Of course Kohli’s Test record in England before this innings graded a C-minus for a player of his caliber. He had just 134 runs to show for the 10 Test innings he played the last time around. This had led to some experts around the world make disparaging comments and questioning his greatness. The perfectionist that he is, Kohli was even willing to go through the county grind to get familiar with the English conditions (moving ball and freak weather et al) but that did not materialize due to his health problems. Even that was not without controversy – former England fast bowler Bob Willis the MCC not to allow Kohli the luxury of getting match practice in English conditions before the series.

But all that has been consigned to history with this scintillating knock. Although he got two lives, the value of the knock can be gauged from the fact that Indian were reeling at 169 with 7 wickets down, still 118 behind England. Only the bowlers – Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav remained. Conceding a lead of over 100 runs would have meant that India would have lost the match. But Kohli kept a cool head and guided the tailenders to support him. He added 105 runs with the trio and more importantly, he played 116 of the 153 balls delivered during that period. This meant that he kept them away from the strike as much as possible. It was a herculean rescue act that deserves all the praise.

pic courtesy: reuters