Vizag ODI: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli stand apart for their adaptability
Rohit Sharma finally came back to form in the fifth ODI while Virat Kohli continued his magnificent run with a fine 65.cricket Updated: Oct 29, 2016 22:39 IST
Ross Taylor and Ish Sodhi would have been gutted had Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli gone on to score centuries at the ACA-VDCA stadium.
The way Rohit batted to dispel talk of being out of form, Taylor could have imagined the criticism he would have faced after dropping a simple catch at short mid-wicket with Rohit on 66. He had dropped Kohli on six in Mohali, and he went on to score 154 to win the match.
Sodhi put down a powerfull straight drive from Kohli off his bowling when the India vice-captain was on eight. Rohit and Kohli did not reach the three-figure mark, but their 70 and 65 runs were enough to help India post 269/6.
Rohit came into the deciding clash with scores of 14, 15, 13 and 11. What the packed stadium witnessed was a class act. He made good use of the bounce at the start of the innings. Batting cleverly, he used the pace of the ball to get boundaries.
As the pitch got slower, Rohit used power to good use. He used the crease to cut the ball past the point fielder to reach his half-century.
Such was the confidence that despite having a deep mid-wicket, he went for a slog sweep as soon as Sodhi, the most expensive Kiwi bowler (2/66), tossed the ball up.
For young cricketers who idolise Kohli, this knock would easily rate as his best, even if not in terms of numbers. Adapting to the conditions is the hallmark of a great batsman.
Despite cutting down on his shots as the wicket started to get slower, Kohli still managed a strike rate of 85.52, which was commendable.
He had hit only a boundary and six when he reached his half-century. The boundary came off the 18th ball of his innings, and the straight six off Sodhi came off the 45th ball he faced.
Knowing that he could infuse pace into the wicket, Kohli focused on placement. He ran hard and converted the ones into twos. In an attempt to up the run rate, he tried to loft one over long off, but holed out to Martin Guptill.