In T20, Virat breaks convention of improvised strokes

  • Khurram Habib
  • Updated: May 20, 2016 18:51 IST

NEW DELHI: In an era when ludicrous and audacious T20 shots abound, Virat Kohli’s success in the format with conventional strokes is against the norm.

That he has managed to score runs with no aid of scoops, ramp shots or fancy reverse or switchhits makes his success at the shortest format hard to believe.

If anything, his success thumbs its nose at those who believe that for success in T20, you have to go unconventional or that this format is not a purists’ delight.

Wednesday night’s innings against a weak Kings XI Punjab bowling line-up was again a masterclass where the RCB skipper played all the shots in the book, deviating just a little, and found enormous success. A record four centuries to be standing on the cusp of 1000 runs in a single edition, point to the hunger for success. “More than anything, I think it is his self-belief that sets him apart. He has got tremendous amount of self-belief. He knows his strength, he believes in them and he uses them to the optimum,” says former India cricketer and now an analyst, Maninder Singh.

There are players who are said to be more talented than him. RCB teammate AB de Villiers defies the laws of elasticity, getting into any position to get boundaries. “When you drive too fast, you have greater chances of meeting accidents. Unlike AB, Virat is like a safe driver, but one who has excellent control of the wheel and who knows the various ways to overcome blockages,” the former India left-arm spinner adds.

Right from childhood, supreme confidence has defined Kohli. His career is full of knocks that have helped his sides win from almost nowhere. When he flopped in England in the 2014 Test series, it was a case of technical weakness. He has subsequently plugged that weakness. Otherwise, he has at least two shots for every delivery. And importantly, he seems to have the belief that these copybook shots alone can deliver.

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