‘Bowlers have to plan for each version’: Robin Uthappa says it’s ‘inspiring’ to watch Virat Kohli bat
Pointing out the nuances of Kohli’s batting in each format, Uthappa feels sometimes the India captain tends to surprise not only the bowlers but even those watching the game, with his unpredictability in batting.Updated: Jun 02, 2020 10:26 IST
Robin Uthappa is surprised at Virat Kohli’s ability to switch from one format to another with the minimum of fuss, and calls the Indian captain’s batting approach phenomenal. Pointing out the nuances of Kohli’s batting in each format, Uthappa feels sometimes the India captain tends to surprise not only the bowlers but even those watching the game, with his unpredictability in batting. “When you watch him bat from one version of the game to another, you can see how clearly, he has planned for each version of the game,” Uthappa said on the Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports.
“In one-day cricket, he almost never hits the ball in the air, unless it’s completely required during the course of the game. Similarly, in Test cricket, he is only going to hit the ball in the air once he has passed 120 or 150. But in T20 cricket, he pulls out the big shots and his orthodox big shots that you don’t even think that he will play it, because you have seen him play so much of good cricket along the ground in ODI & Test cricket that you don’t anticipate him playing that.”
It is due to this nature of Kohli’s batting that Uthappa feels it is a task for bowlers to come up with a particular plan to contain the batsman.
“Suddenly, the bowlers have to plan for each version of the game. For me, someone like Virat, the way he approaches each version of the game is just phenomenal. It’s kind of inspiring, like what must be going through that mind for him to be able to concede those ideas and say, ‘Ok, these are my shots for T20 cricket, these are my shots for one-day cricket, and these are my shots for 5-day cricket’. It’s just amazing,” he stated further.
Kohli is not the only batsman Uthappa holds in high regard. Rohit Sharma is someone who has equally left Uthappa speechless. Named the ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year for 2019, Rohit became the first player in history to score five ODI centuries in a single edition of the World Cup. He surpassed MS Dhoni to hit the maximum number of sixes in international matches on Indian soil. Later in the year, being assigned the responsibility of opening the batting in Tests, Rohit became the only player to have twin centuries in his maiden appearance as a Test opener.
“When I look at Rohit Sharma, I feel he has got eternity to play a ball. It just baffles you like where does he create that time. It’s amazing to watch and so effortless,” Uthappa said of Rohit.