India v Australia, 2nd ODI – CT Player of the match: Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli and company took a 2-0 lead in the series as the Indian skipper once again proved his worth when his team was combating an adverse situation.
Updated - Sep 21, 2017 10:43 pm
With Durga Puja hitting the shores of the Bay of Bengal, the festive environment was already there in Kolkata. An enthralling low-scoring thriller between India and Australia, which kept the fans on the edge of their seats was a perfect icing on the cake. The hosts emerged victorious at the Garden city by 50 runs thanks to a wonderful team effort. Virat Kohli and company took a 2-0 lead in the series as the Indian skipper once again proved his worth when his team was combating an adverse situation.
It might seem a harsh choice to pick Kohli as the CT Player of the match keeping in mind the mind-boggling effort from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kuldeep Yadav, but this was a knock which justified his status as the savior of Indian cricket. Every player in the first half of the game was in a delirious state facing the extremely humid weather conditions, yet they didn’t let any of these predicaments be an excuse, especially Virat Kohli.
A flurry of eye-popping cover drives
It was an exhibition of spectacular cover drives from Ajinkya Rahane and Kohli which made the fans go nuts. Whenever Kohli kept driving the ball towards covers and mid-off, it felt as though someone had turned on some soothing A.R. Rahman classics. It was classical, extravagant, and dominant from the skipper which made his counterpart Steve Smith think a lot.
With a single down the ground, he brought up his 45th ODI half-century and Ricky Ponting’s 30-hundreds tally, which is the second best in ODI history, was about to slip third. The tenacity and ferociousness in his approach went another notch higher after breaching the 50 mark, but he ensured every risk he took was calculative.
With the humid waves from the sea nearby taming the players, Ashton Agar, Mathew Wade and Kane Richardson were palpably fatigued and batting too was not getting easier. The fitness beast in Virat Kohli didn’t let his emotions come on his face, but clearly, he wasn’t finding it easy to face the Aussie speedsters who were clocking 145 kph for fun.
The 28-year-old maestro, who managed to stick in there for so long with such great perseverance, finally succumbed to a brilliant inswinging delivery from Nathan Coulter-Nile. The ball nipped back sharply off the track and in an attempt to guide it through the third man, the ball ricocheted off the inside edge onto the stumps.
A person’s true character appears when quandaries surround them leaving no place for anything good. Kohli had to tackle the slowness of the track, the humidity, and some world class bowling from Australia. Yet, he managed a brilliant 92 off 107 balls which helped his side get to a respectable total. Though he missed out on a historic hundred, this will rank as one of his best innings for sure.