Virat Kohli’s fourth Test double ton in four consecutive series shouldn’t come as a surprise. For, it was business as usual for the Indian skipper against Bangladesh on Friday. Although he has a penchant for making big runs after settling in, Kohli’s methodical approach is what makes him so successful.
Virat Kohli’s ultra-sensible style sets him apart from his contemporaries. Of all the four double tons, Kohli has hit only one six (during his highest Test knock of 235 against England at the Wankhede Stadium). The six came when he reached 225, the highest Test score by an Indian captain.
Only one six
Despite having all the ammo to clear the ropes with his wide range of shots, Virat Kohli has intentionally cut down on playing any lofted shots when it comes to Test cricket. His coach and mentor Rajkumar Sharma said: “He has made a conscious effort to not hit sixes in Test cricket. He has all the shots to score runs, so why take any risk of playing the ball in the air. His intention is to play along the ground as much as possible.”
Kohli has been out caught only once (vs England in Mumbai) out of his four double Test tons. The first time (against West Indies at Antigua), Kohli was bowled on 200. He was out leg-before at Indore vs New Zealand and against Bangladesh on Friday at Hyderabad.
He also does not seem to believe in dealing boundaries too much. The most number of boundaries Kohli scored during his double ton came at the Wankhede Stadium where he sent the ball 25 times to the fence.
Against West Indies and Bangladesh, he slammed 24 boundaries (96 runs) while against New Zealand at Indore, he smashed 20 boundaries.
No boundaries, no problem
When boundaries are hard to come by, Kohli has showed no signs of getting flustered. During his highest-ever Test score of 235 against England at the Wankhede Stadium, Kohli went without a boundary for 83 balls. He kept his patience until he reached his half-century.
In West Indies, there was a phase when he didn’t find a boundary for 55 balls.
Focus on ones and twos
It is here when Kohli’s game plan is to the fore. Kohli may play safe, but in his approach he is aggressive and looking for runs at every opportunity. Instead of waiting to convert the loose balls, Kohli turns to ones, twos and also threes to ensure the scoreboard is ticking. Kohli runs hard and pushes his partners too to run harder.
He accumulated 104 runs (70x1s, 14x2s, 2x3s) by running between the wickets during his knock of 200 against West Indies. In his 211-run knock against New Zealand, Kohli ran 115 times in singles and eight times for a couple of runs. In Mumbai against England, Kohli accrued 129 runs (93x1s, 15x2s, 2x3s) with the use of his feet. Against
Bangladesh on Friday, Kohli ran 67 runs in singles, 38 runs in twos and took three once.
No set pattern
There is no set pattern that Kohli relies on for his runs which creates more difficulties for the opposition to nail him. Devendra Bishoo (3/163) and Carlos Braithwaite were the most successful bowlers for West Indies in the first Test at Antigua, but Kohli did not spare them, smashing them for 10 and seven boundaries respectively during his first double ton knock.
Similarly, Trent Boult was the most successful Kiwi bowler in the first innings, but the pacer was hit for boundary (five) most number of times by Kohli during his 211-run innings. For England, Adil Rashid, who claimed 4-192, was hit for eight boundaries by Kohli.