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Posts Tagged ‘Virat Kohli’

Sachin Tendulkar was 17 when he lit up the Summer of Graham (Gooch) with a match-saving 119 not out at Old Trafford. It was his first Test century, in his ninth match. Nearly two-and-a-half years later, the 23-year-old Brian Charles Lara had the old-timers harking back to Sir Garfield Sobers as he stroked a magnificent 277 at the SCG. It was his fifth Test in the maroon cap. Half a decade later, Ricky Ponting was a year younger when he played his sixth Test. His maiden Test hundred (127) and a 268-run partnership with Matthew Elliott were pivotal in deciding the destination of the little urn.

Last week, two 19-year-olds from opposite sides of the world made brilliant debut hundreds on either side of the Tasman Sea. Adrian Barath’s effort was one of the few bright spots in an another depressing West Indian performance away from home, while Umar Akmal’s technique and poise couldn’t quite save Pakistan in a fascinating Test at Dunedin.

Both have been talked about for a while.

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After the Thrilla in Manila, Muhammad Ali was to say: “Joe Frazier, I’ll tell the world right now, brings out the best in me.” The cricketers of India and Australia appear to operate on the same principle. India, such a disappointment at the Champions Trophy in South Africa, have rediscovered their spirit. Australia, with an injury list that makes Rafael Benítez’s woes at Liverpool look trivial, have shown the same fortitude that Frazier did on that long-ago night when he was reduced to fighting from memory.

 

After falling four runs short in Vadodara, India were markedly superior in both Nagpur and Delhi. When they then produced their best fielding and bowling display of the series – four run-outs included – to restrict Australia to 250 on a beautiful batting pitch in Mohali, it seemed as though the series tide was about to turn decisively their way.

 

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With Virender Sehwag returning home after failing to recover from a shoulder injury, it will be fascinating to see which way the selection committee goes. Does it bring in a known face, or take a punt on a youngster with an X-factor? Subramaniam Badrinath and Dinesh Karthik must be favourites, but don’t rule out someone like Virat Kohli, who had a strong IPL season with the Royal Challengers.
My pick would be Karthik. As part of the Test squad in 2007, he gave emphatic evidence that he could handle English conditions, and he played some sparkling knocks in the IPL as well. No harm in having a back-up keeper either. If it’s a real wild card they want though, bring in Manish Pandey. He showed glimpses of real class towards the end of the IPL and is brilliant in the field. Realistically though, he’s well

With Virender Sehwag returning home after failing to recover from a shoulder injury, it will be fascinating to see which way the selection committee goes. Does it bring in a known face, or take a punt on a youngster with an X-factor? Subramaniam Badrinath and Dinesh Karthik must be favourites, but don’t rule out someone like Virat Kohli, who had a strong IPL season with the Royal Challengers.

My pick would be Karthik. As part of the Test squad in 2007, he gave emphatic evidence that he could handle English conditions, and he played some sparkling knocks in the IPL as well. No harm in having a back-up keeper either. If it’s a real wild card they want though, bring in Manish Pandey. He showed glimpses of real class towards the end of the IPL and is brilliant in the field. Realistically though, he has little chance.

Postscript: And just as I finish writing that, the BCCI has named Karthik as the replacement. Sensible choice.

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