Virat Kohli Cricketer of the year, Captain of Test and ODI: ICC Awards

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Virat Kohli named ICC Test and ODI Team Captain.

Dubai, January 18: Since the past few years Virat Kohli has been the epitome of consistency in every format he engages in. Simply in 65 tests, he has amassed 5,459 runs, and 9,030 runs in ODIs. Upon assuming captaincy across all formats for the Indian cricket team, the Indian team has reached new heights.

Kohli was on Thursday, named the world cricketer of the year. In addition to that, he also bagged the top honor for ODI players in the ICC annual awards announced here.

During the qualification period -from September 21, 2016 to end 2017- Kohli scored  a total of 2,203 runs in tests at an average of 77.80, including eight centuries, whereas he scored 1,818 runs in ODI matches including seven centuries at 82.63, and 299 T20I runs at a strike rate of 153.

He also captained India, who under his leadership, climbed the ladder to the top of the ICC Test rankings.

“It means a lot to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for becoming the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2017 and also the ICC ODI Player of the Year,” Kohli was quoted as saying in an ICC statement.

“I won that back in 2012 also but it’s the first time winning the Garfield Sobers Trophy, and it’s a huge honor for me. It’s probably the biggest of all in world cricket and two Indians getting it back-to-back makes it more special,” he added.

Under Kohli, India has acquired a winning rate of 58.82%, while in ODIs it’s 78.87%. In short, he has emerged as one of the finest leaders in cricket. ICC recognised his achievements and named him as the skipper of both, Test team as well as ODI team of the year. In the recent past, Kohli won the ICC cricketer of the year, and ICC ODI player of the year awards.

Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah in the ODIs, and Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin in the Tests are other Indian players to have featured in the list.

 

Sources: ESPN Cricinfo, News18

 

South Africa defeat India by 135 runs at Centurion; register a series victory

Debutant seamer Lungi Ngidi celebrates the dismissal of Indian batsmen during the 2nd innings of the Centurion test
AFP

South Africa defeated India by 135 runs during the second test at Centurion. With this, they have also registered a series victory. The loss marked an end to India’s nine series unbeaten run.  

Indomitable at their home turf, Indian batsmen failed to stand up against South African seamers. During the post-match presentation, Indian Skipper Virat Kohli held the batsmen accountable for the loss. He stated that the “bowlers were up to the mark and did their job pretty well”. 

Chasing a target of 287, the Indian batting line-up collapsed. Rohit Sharma’s 47 was the only noteworthy contribution. India could only manage a total of 151. 

Revenge was served since India had whitewashed South Africa 3-0 in 2015.  

Lungi Ngidi proved to be a valuable find for South Africa. The debutant managed to pick up 6 wickets for 39 runs in 12.2 overs. He became the sixth South African pacer to register a five-wicket haul on debut.  

Indian skipper Virat Kohli led from the front with a knock of 153 runs during the first innings. It was a record-breaking knock as Kohli became the only captain after Sachin Tendulkar to register a ton on the South African soil. He was all praise for the Proteas and felt that ‘they got what they deserved’.  

Sources: The Indian Express, The Hindu

Watching Virat Kohli bat in South Africa – when TNT meets Dynamite

Image Courtesy: BCCI
After Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli first India captain to score a Test century in South Africa.

Scoring 153 runs out of team total of 307 is no mean feat, especially when you are batting in tablelands of centurion and likes of Rabada and Morkel breathing down your neck. Add on to the pressure of being the captain, wrong team selection and a hostile press back home-not to speak of the Himalayan expectations of the fans.

But, Virat Kohli is no ordinary batsman or a captain or a mortal being. His intensity during his stay at crease is akin a mixture of rage and performance. It’s like accelerating a sports car towards its peak speed, for hours. Watching a cricket test match almost after a year, partly due to predictable India- Sri Lanka Series had and partly due to absence of any good competition, it was certainly a treat to the senses. And what a sight it was to see Kohli in his elements on a sunny day in South Africa. Not only he took Indian side to a respectable total, he also stamped his authority over the African soil- thereby silencing his critics regarding his batting technique-at least for a while.

But more than his batting skills, what highlighted Kohli’s stay at field was his never ending enthusiasm. He jumped in the air as he crossed past 100 mark, only to return back for an extra run gifted by an overthrow-all in less than 10 seconds. He applauded every time his partner at other end hits a four and slapped his bat to his pad when a wicket falls. It looked that his veins would burst out when Hardik Pandya ran himself out in a stupid manner.

He played shots by dragging himself wide due to lack of movement in the pitch, almost repeating his Cape Town action, but this time he pulls them through elegance. The fact that his strike rate his over 70 and he has faced just under 45% of balls that the whole team has faced, with a contribution of over 50% to the total score speaks volumes about his skill.

It almost seems that Virat is undoing all his mistakes for himself and the others. He seems to cover up for everything by his batting – constant failures of Rohit Sharma, dropped catches by Parthiv, poor deliveries bowled by Shami and yet stay at the crease with all his grit to partner with Ashwin to hit the three figures. He might have made his mistakes of field too-poor team selection, wrong fielding placements, but today on 15th January, 2018, Kohli makes South Africa fight for every minute he stays on the field. Who says the enfant terrible of Indian Cricket can’t put up a show in Dark Continent?

P.S.- Almost an hour after the end of his innings, Kohli breached ICC Code of Conduct for fair play, by disagreeing with the umpire and stomping the ball to the ground. He was fined, yet again, 25% of his match fee for his over-aggressive behaviour.

Cheteshwar Pujara is my “biggest inspiration”, says Virat Kohli

Indian Skipper Virat Kohli said that it is his teammate Cheteshwar Pujara who has inspired him to bat for long hours and score big hundreds. He also added that he derives utmost job satisfaction after performing well in Test cricket.

Kohli started Day 2 of the third India -Sri Lanka test on 156 and completed his double ton with an impressive strike rate. With his sixth double ton, Kohli has become the only captain to score six double centuries. He surpassed West Indian legend Brian Lara ‘s record of five test double tons to achieve this feat.

Kohli has equaled Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar for the maximum 200- plus scores for India in tests. While Tendulkar had recorded six double tons, Sehwag had scored four double and two triple centuries. All of Kohli’s six double tons have been scored during the last 17 months. When it comes to total international centuries across formats, the skipper has scored 52 of them.

Kohli also believes that fitness is extremely important for a professional cricketer. He strives to remain in top physical shape in order to make the most of his time on the field.

India cricket team opposes long tours, demands pay hike

The Indian cricket team has actively opposed long tours. In doing so, they have followed the likes of England, Australia, and South Africa.  
 

The Indian team management believes that the Future Tours Programme (FTP) should be arranged in such a way that players get enough rest before every series. The issue of cricket scheduling was addressed during a meeting in New Delhi. This meeting involved the Committee of Administrators (CoA) and the team management. Earlier, skipper Virat Kohli had raised concerns about the cricket schedule, stating that it needs to less hectic. The discussion also raised concerns about the lack of practice before matches 

 
The issue of a pay hike for cricketers was also discussed as skipper Kohli, former skipper MS Dhoni and coach Ravi Shastri met CoA members Vinod Rai and Diana EduljiRai spoke to reporters post the meeting and revealed that the demand for a pay hike has been accepted and sooner than later, Test cricketers will receive a hike of 100 percent or more  

Kohli and Shastri were satisfied with the meeting and held that the discussions were quite ‘reasonable’. 

India wins Galle test against Sri Lanka, take 1-0 lead in series

The first test match in the ongoing India-Sri Lanka series ended swiftly for the hosts as the visitors razed the lower order in the final session, registering a massive 304-run win on Day 4 of the Galle Test. India has taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Shikhar Dhawan was given the Man of the Match award.

This is India’s biggest away win and Sri Lanka’s biggest defeat at home. Skipper Virat Kohli registered extra pleasure at having won the match particularly because the pitch lacked venom and did not offer much to the bowlers. Unfortunately for Sri Lanka, two of their key players were injured – Asela Gunaratne and skipper Rangana Herath. Though their bowling attack looked weak, missing the skipper, Nuwan Pradeep was the pick, registering his best figures in Test cricket.

With 550 runs needed to win, Sri Lanka’s batting order collapsed with two batsmen absent-hurt. On Day 4 of the test, they were at 192/4 at lunch and would have been hoping to continue to the next day, but Ravichandran Ashwin (3/65) pulled out all stops and took his first wicket of the second innings, going to on to take India to the brink of a win. Ravindra Jadeja (3/71) finished off what Ashwin had started, taking India to the victory.

The match was always in India’s pocket, thanks to their massive first innings total. Both Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara notched up tons, taking India to their mammoth total. Sri Lanka fell behind by 309 runs while chasing this total, brought on by a Ravindra Jadeja-led Indian attack. India, however, decided not to enforce a follow on, instead of taking to bat again and declaring at 240/3, giving themselves a 550 run lead. Kohli, who had fallen early in the first innings, made up for his failure by bringing up his 17th to in tests.

This win for India is an avenging of sorts for the loss at the same venue in 2015, although Sri Lanka looked meek throughout, with only Dimuth Karunaratne putting up a fight. Sri Lanka needs to improve their game if they are to balance out the series. The second test will begin on August 3, 2017, at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo.

 

News Sources- Economic Times, Times of India 

Centurion Kohli steers India to series win against West Indies

Virat Kohli’s 111 of just 115 balls helped India cross the line against a famished Caribbean bowling up, thereby pocketing the series 3-1. It was business as usual for the men in blue at the Sabina Park, when some fiery pace bowling from Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav ably backed by tight bowling from the spinners restricted the hosts to a shoe-string total of 205.

But, the loss by 11 runs a couple days ago at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium was still fresh in the memory and the loss of Dhawan in the first overs sent the slender Indian support at the ground to the edge of their seats.

In came skipper Kohli, and was welcomed by a barrage of short deliveries mixed and matched with some deliveries at the corridor of uncertainty. He took his time to settle down and was happy to duck and leave the first eight bouncers until the ninth one was hooked and dispatched to the fence, as reported by ESPN Cricinfo.

Rahane got a fresh lease of life when he was dropped at point, in the fourth over. He was looking good and even hit five boundaries before finally falling LBW to Devendra Bishoo. He was replaced by Dinesh Karthik, who along with Kohli knitted a lively unbeaten partnership of 122 runs to chase down the target.

Earlier in the day, the Hope brothers managed to put up some resistance but after their dismissals Indies’ batting line up broke down like a pack of cards.

After winning the ODI series, both teams will clash on Sunday to play in a winner takes it all T20 match.

 

Sources: ESPN Cricinfo, News18