World Cup: Virat Kohli's failures a concern for India

  • Richard Hadlee
  • Updated: Mar 20, 2015 16:00 IST

India are flexing their muscles and look as though they might be able to defend the title. Playing with energy, urgency and purpose, they have rattled off seven wins in a row to march into the semifinal where they will meet either Australia or Pakistan.

It was an impressive win even though Bangladesh's overall performance was underwhelming. After conceding 300-plus runs, Bangladesh were always going to find it hard to win as no team has scored 300 or more batting second at MCG. Their track record against India also suggested they would struggle. India have won 25 of the 29 encounters with Bangladesh winning only four times.

The return to form of Rohit Sharma will be pleasing for the team. He crafted a beautifully-composed 137 from 126 balls that was mixed with some subtle strokeplay and power hitting. He is a fine touch player with beautiful hands - a flick of the wrist and he can send the ball racing to the boundary.

A turnaround

He will be pleased with this performance because his previous record against Bangladesh is unimpressive, 14 runs in five innings. On Thursday, he delivered in style and dominated the hapless bowlers.

The form of Virat Kohli must be a concern for India. He was expected to be the key run-maker but he has not delivered and is being upstaged by Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit and Suresh Raina.

Kohli has immense talent and maybe his day will come in the semifinal. His lack of runs has given Raina a chance to stamp his mark. He did that with a fine century against Zimbabwe and his 65 on Thursday means he is a great asset.

The Bangladesh fielding was shabby with misfields and overthrows that proved costly. There is no excuse for poor fielding at this level. Their bowlers tried hard but lacked the pace and direction to unsettle Rohit and Raina and runs flowed easily.

If ever there was a chance of Bangladesh chasing down 303, it would depend on how the in-form Mahmudullah goes and the support he gets from others. He was coming off two centuries and is a player who has impressed with his all-round game. He, like a few other players, got out in the 20s and that was game, set and match to India. Bangladesh bow out but they can hold their heads high as they have played an entertaining brand of cricket.

India's bowling was impressive. The bowlers did a fine job and are getting better. They have been backed superbly in the field - India are now a dangerous team to play against.

One of the talking points of the match was when Rohit was caught off a full toss from Rubel that was deemed a 'no ball' for height. Replays suggested that it was a marginal call that could have gone in favour of Bangladesh. The third umpire should have the power to overrule the umpire's decision if he has made an error. This is an anomaly that needs to be addressed.

(The writer is a former NZ all-rounder)

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