Even as MS Dhoni entered the press conference hall, he declared: “they should name a stand at Adelaide Oval after Virat Kohli.”
Kohli loves to bat at this venue. While on Tuesday he smashed an unbeaten 90, each of his previous three outings here has yielded a century. He hit a ton in each innings of the 2014 Test against Australia, followed by a match-winning knock in a World Cup game against Pakistan last year.
On this tour, he has gone from strength to strength. He started the ODI series with two half-centuries and topped it with back-to-back hundreds. It is not just about the runs he is scoring. He is literally toying with Australia’s bowling and playing around with their field placements.
On Tuesday, captain Aaron Finch was at his wit’s end while trying to control the Indian star. “He (Kohli) doesn’t hit it to too many fielders, so sometimes it doesn’t really matter where you put them. He is in unbelievable form at the moment and the wickets are very good. When you are looking to restrict his scoring, he uses wrists to manoeuvre the ball into gaps. He runs hard between the wickets. He’s always putting pressure back on the bowler, and I think that’s what makes him such a great player,” said Finch. “He is a complete player, I think.”
His captain was equally effusive in praise.
“By the time he ends his career, quite a few Australian grounds will have a stand by his name. He’s batting really well. The important thing is, when he is taking the risk of playing a big shot, he calculates well. Also, he is someone who looks to score in front of the wicket. Though he cuts and pulls well, he looks to hit in front of the wicket more as that always gives you more chances of success.
“I think he reads the game well. Right from the start, whenever we interacted, he was always looking to improve himself. If you have that kind of eagerness, it helps you to become a better cricketer.”