World T20 Diary: Different format, same result for Kohli

by Ashish Magotra  Sep 17, 2012 15:14 IST

#Cricket   #India   #India at WT20   #Pakistan   #Twenty20   #World T20  

It’s almost surreal, the ease with which Virat Kohli is batting. Early in his career, he counted himself as a batsman who did not hit the sixes. He reckoned that he just didn’t have the power. But looking at him cruise to another fifty in the warm-up game against Pakistan just convinced one that the format doesn’t matter to him anymore. He just ups the tempo a bit but still takes his time building up the innings. Rohit Sharma, batting at the other end, could learn a thing of two from his partner.

Kohli got his 50 off just 34 balls with 6 fours – no sixes – which is a bit of an oddity for a T20 innings. Truly impressive though was the way he batted against Ajmal. The Pakistani spinner has terrorised oppositions the world over this year but even he could do little against Kohli – perhaps he was saving his best for an actual match – but he seemed outclassed today.

The only ball that really got the better of him was a beamer from Mohammad Sami -- it kissed the top of Kohli's helmet as he ducked to avoid it. His response though will ensure that Sami won't try that again. The next ball was smashed for a six. Stunning stuff... really.

India vs Pak can never be a warm-up

In many ways, today’s warm-up matches are better than the Group stages that will follow. South Africa vs New Zealand to set the ball rolling, England vs Australia would have filled stands in England and Australia and perhaps even in India. But India vs Pakistan would have certainly got the crowd going. Even though in official terms, it is supposed to be a warm-up match – an India-Pakistan match is always more than that.

So even though it’s happening before the start tournament – it’s a
perfect chance to get the engines running and the confidence flowing.

The warm-up match is a perfect chance to get the engines running and the confidence flowing. Reuters

Bright Neon

Normally, it doesn’t take much to notice the Indian team. A huge posse
of security guards, an even bigger posse of journalists following
their every move and an equally maniacal fan following. But this time the team and their apparel sponsors have come up with a different way to draw some attention – and nothing works better than bright neon. On
a bright sunny day, you can spot them from a mile away. Who knows, it
might be the same at night too.

So what’s going to happen this time…

The World T20 and the Indian team share a unique bond. In 2007, India
won. In 2009, the Sehwag-Dhoni controversy erupted. In 2010, we had
the brawl in the night club. So what’s it going to be this time round…
will we see a win or a controversy.

Bat like an Indian

Hit through the line. Don’t move the feet too much. Find your spot and
spank the ball as hard as possible. And Shane Watson does that.
England may have edged out Australia in the warm-up match but Watson
and Hussey showed just how dangerous they can be in these conditions.
At the Nondescripts Cricket Club, Watson’s three sixes and Michael
Hussey’s 71 off 51 balls were very impressive – surely the lessons
learnt in the IPL won’t go to waste.