Kumble on Virat Kohli’s performance
Former India skipper Anil Kumble has lauded Virat Kohli for getting back to scoring big in recent matches. The 44-year-old legendary leg spinner said Kohli’s feat of going past 6,000 runs is one of the major features of India’s dominance over Sri Lanka in the ongoing five-match series.
“One of the latest positives for India that emerged in the Hyderabad match was Virat Kohli becoming the fastest man to reach 6,000 ODI runs. The man he replaced in the record books was Viv Richards, one of the game’s greatest batsmen. It was simply another feather in the cap for the stand-in Indian skipper who, in recent years, has really added a new dimension to India’s batting unit. Kohli’s consistency has been simply remarkable. Even in a year that has seen him struggle for runs in Tests, he is still 2014’s most prolific batsman in the 50-overs game with 849 runs from 19 matches at an average of almost 50,” Kumble wrote in his column for a leading News paper.
“You could never say enough about his extraordinary ability at masterminding high scoring run chases. It’s those situations that tell you all you need to know about a player’s pedigree, and Kohli clearly ticks all the boxes. He can change gears very quickly based on the circumstances thanks to his ability to hit boundaries and sixes at will. The youngsters in the Indian squad of today would do well to study Kohli’s progress as an international cricketer since he burst onto the scene,” he wrote.
As far as Sri Lanka are concerned, Kumble reckons the visitors have failed to fire as a unit. “It continues to be the same old story for Sri Lanka as far this series goes at least. If skipper Angelo Mathews was the lone ranger in the previous match, it was the veteran Mahela Jayawardene who played that role in Hyderabad. They just aren’t able to conjure up a team effort, and weren’t in any way helped by some atrocious shot selection by the younger batsmen the other day. Chathuranga de Silva’s dismissal was a case in point. Having taken the Powerplay early, then only to lose Mathews, a more pragmatic approach was needed especially with Jayawardene well set at the other end, but young de Silva had other ideas,” he said.
Having the World Cup in mind, Kumble is impressed with India’s fringe players. “There may still be a fair bit of cricket to be played before the World Cup, but a losing run does nothing to build confidence. And, for a series that was set to be about the fringe players seizing their moment, the displays by Ambati Rayudu and Akshar Patel confirm India are currently way ahead of their counterparts,” he said.