posted on 2019-06-12 12:45:56
posted by Michael Harrison
With the kind of consistency and numbers that Virat Kohli has in his ODI career, his phenomenal statistics against New Zealand don't come as a surprise. Over the last 12 months, the Indian captain has taken his game from a legendary to an ultra-legendary level in the 50-over format. As always, Kohli remains the biggest scalp for the opposition.
For the next few matches starting with the New Zealand encounter, Kohli's wicket will mean more than it actually did, due to Shikhar Dhawan's absence. Of course, KL Rahul is a super talent who relishes the opening duties but with Dhawan out, the top three doesn't exude the same dominance that it does with the southpaw's presence.
Therefore, Kohli will be more determined and hungrier to compensate for his fellow Delhi mate's exit. His method of batting is quite robotic of late and he rarely ever commits a mistake. It's almost as if Kohli has programmed his batting to go at a certain pace, day in and day out. Certain match situations might prompt a change but largely, he goes at a set pattern.
For New Zealand, it will be about separating the opening partnership early and getting the Indian captain to face the new ball early. If there is a bit of movement around, there's always a chance of him nicking off, particularly if the bowlers are hitting their marks. You could say that most batsmen would and it's true but with Kohli, it's his only weakness.
As a result, the opponents cannot afford to have lapses during the new ball spell or whenever he is new to the crease. Once he gets his eye in, Kohli's shot selection is flawless to the core and there is very little chance of him not converting a start to a really big knock. It shall be interesting to see how this battle pans out in Nottingham.