9 months ago
Saturday, 14 May 2011
Why Kohli is NOT the next Yuvi
The similarities between the two of them are striking. Both made a name for themselves in the U 19 World Cup wins for India. Both made their ODI debut at the age of 19. Very talented batsmen, they both can more than roll their arm over and are live wires in the field. Ray Jennings, the coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore, once said that Virat Kolhi thinks ‘he is God’s gift to cricket’. Yuvraj Singh has an ego the size of a football field. Virat Kolhi is good looking. Yuvraj Singh thinks he is good looking. And I could on. But that is not the point of this post.
Yuvraj Singh is my book, the most talented cricketer in the modern era, by a mile. But 11 years of international cricket and he has little to show, that would back my claim. Yes he did hit six sixes in an over, but then again, that was just an over. For a large part of his career, Yuvraj Singh has been annoyingly inconsistent. And he hasn’t managed to hold on to his place in the Indian side, just as he hasn’t managed to hold on to any girl who ever dated him. The only time he performs well is when he is really fired up (Flintoff would vouch for that) and so right one sure way to get him to perform is to drop him every alternate series.
Virat Kohli on the other hand has gone from strength to strength. Ever since making his ODI debut he hasn’t looked back. Whatever opportunity he has got, he grabbed it with both hands. When MS Dhoni benches (his favourite) Raina and plays Virat instead, you know the kid has got talent (and temperament). Another impressive thing about Virat is that he doesn’t play to the gallery. He plays responsibly and I can’t quite recall the last time he got out playing a rash shot in international cricket.
Today, in the absence of Daniel Vettori he captained his side in the IPL. A side which has a former international captain in Chris Gayle and in Zaheer Khan, one of India’s shrewdest bowlers. A side which Ray Jennings is still the coach of. He showed willingness to take the onus on himself and bowled the penultimate over to a certain Yusuf Pathan. He did go for 13 runs, but that is of little significance. What matters was that he wasn’t afraid to a make a fool of himself. As Shane Warne would tell you, that is the quality of a great leader. And ya, when Saurabh Tiwary was cramping, he put on his pads and rushed on to the field to run for the Dhoni look alike.
This morning in the paper I read a quote from Yuvraj Singh, in which he said he wanted to use the tour of West indies to cement his place in the Test team. After 11 longs years of cricket, he is still not a certainty in the test side. I don’t know where Virat Kohli will end up after 11 years on the International circuit. But one thing is for sure. He would have cemented his place in the test side. Most probably as the captain.
Post Script: Kohli also gave us the quote on the world cup when he said something like 'Sachin has carried the burden for Indian cricket for 21 years and it’s time we carried him on our shoulders'
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If you have the time: Do read this. Harsha Bhogle interviewing Shane Warne, one of the greatest cricketers ever.