He had never tried playing the sweep. But on that eventful day he swept. He swept almost every bowler over mid- on with such disdain that a fielder placed there really didn’t matter anymore. It just kept vanishing above their heads. But now he added another shot to his arsenal. Virat Kohli had learnt the art of batting in Australia.
The Indian test team were taking on a mourning Australia. There was nothing to worry about sans the Australians who had plenty to worry about. One of their talented batsman had passed away after a vicious bouncer from Sean Abbott caused him to collapse and eventually led to his demise. Michael Clarke was facing stiff opposition from a fellow- teammates and his tussles with New South Wales mate- Simon Katich were making headlines. This along with his poor run with the willow wasn’t a pleasant sight. Team Australia were in dire straits
The Men in Blue, however were a new unit. They had a new captain. Someone who is the exact opposite of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He wasn’t cool. He redefined what ‘cool’ meant. He believed in taking the fight to the opposition; he wouldn’t compromise. He was Virat Kohli. He had made it very evident before the tour- Its a win or nothing. There would not be a draw. There would not be a compensation.
First Test, Day One. Shikhar Dhawan was back in the hut. Pujara and Vijay made merry. But the Aussies had to face their biggest challenge yet. Virat stepped in after Vijay. Haddin sledged at his best, so did Warner, but the glare stayed. The runs came by. Sweep after sweep till Nathan Lyon at mid- on became a mere spectator. India’s next ‘Wall’ was on the other end. Rahane kept the scoreboard ticking while Kohli went berserk. Call it getting even or probably Australian pitches being his backyard practice ground, Virat was at his destructive best.
Day 5, and India pushed for a win. No. Virat pushed for a win. The pitch was doing its bit assisting the pacers, but the defiant Kohli batted. He went on to score another century taking India one- step closer to victory, despite the others crumbling. Virat still swept his way through the Aussie attack. And just when India sniffed victory, Virat fell. A mis- timed sweep brought the curtains down for India. A ten- man Australian team did go on to win. But Kohli had made his intentions clear.
The new Indian Test Captain Number 32 is here.