India needs to learn the art of crossing the line- Virat Kohli

After conceding the series to England in Southampton, Indian captain Virat Kohli has said that his side failed to drive home the advantage in the first innings and this cost them the game. Virat kohli said Indian team cannot be satisfied with just competing overseas and it has to learn the art of crossing the line in a pressure situation. India suffered a 60-run loss in the fourth Test on Sunday after being dismissed for 184 while chasing a victory target of 245 set by England.

It cost India the series 3-1 and Kohli said that they need to understand the situation whilst at the crease and not after the game. “We can look at the scoreboard and say we were only 30 or 50 runs away, but we have to recognise that when we are in the midst of the situation, and not later. We know that we have played good cricket but we cannot say again and again to ourselves that we have competed,” Kohli said.

“When you come so close, there is an art of crossing the line as well, which we will have to learn. We have the ability, which is why we are getting close to a result. But when a pressure situation comes, how we react to it, is something we have to work on a bit.”

Like in South Africa, India started off the series lagging 0-2 but fought hard to reduce the deficit by clinching the third Test.

Kohli said his team needs to be more relentless and fearless to make better start to the overseas tours. “Look we’ve spoken about the fact that even during the match when we’re in a driving position, we should be able to capitalise on it and not let the opposition come in, and fight back again and again. We can take a leaf out of that,” he said.

“Nottingham we did that, for three days we were relentless and we’re on top. So we need to think about how to start a series like that as well. As a group we need to be more relentless when we start a series and be a bit more expressive and fearless at the beginning of a series.

“Especially in a long series because, as I’ve said at the start of the series, you have time to comeback, but you want to come back when you’ve played fearless cricket and you don’t want to be catching up too much.”

When asked about the batsmen’s failure in this game, and the series, as a whole, the skipper said, “It’s very difficult to recognize key moments in the first innings of a Test match. But after I got out, I myself felt that had I batted for longer that day the lead could have been bigger.”

“But even after that we thought we could get a couple of more partnerships and extend the lead if possible. Eventually Pujara had to play a blinder to get us to a lead of 30 odd. So that’s the only thing that I feel could have extended our lead a bit more in this first innings.

“Apart from that as I said as captain I don’t see many areas we need to think of as negatives because we tried our best.”

Kohli said his team never gave up and made England earn the victory. “Not many teams come close to us when we play at home. But to make the home sides earn victory against us, that’s a huge boost for us. As a group we feel that we have pushed the home side to earn victories and we haven’t thrown in the towel,” he said.

England’s Moeen Ali took nine wickets for 134 runs as India succumbed twice to his off-spin.

While Kohli praised the off-spinner, he also defended R Ashwin, who couldn’t work similar magic in this game.

“Ashwin tried his best. He pitched the ball in the right areas. He didn’t get the results he would have intended. We all try to do well. Some innings it doesn’t come off,” he said.

“On flat wickets batsmen can get out. So this was one occasion where Ashwin could himself feel he could have got more purchase out of the wicket. The batsmen played well. There could be a lot of factors when you look at that situation.

“But Moeen bowled really well. If you have to single out his performance, I think he was relentless with the areas that he bowled in and the speeds that he bowled at, so deserved to get the wickets he got eventually,” he added.

Zaheer Abbas Praises King Kohli; Says “Virat Kohli Dominates His Own Generation”

Zed, as he is popularly known, was the first Asian to complete a 100 first-class hundreds.He has a home in London and he was about leave for Lord’s on Thursday to watch India take on England but it started raining.When he was asked about the match he said, he was  little disappointed with the way things shaped up over the day.

The Pakistani stylist got all excited when Virat Kohli’s name was mentioned. “I have seen a lot of great Indian players and he is right up there. I don’t like comparing generations, because each era has its own demands, but Kohli is as good as anybody else,” Zaheer said.

“Kohli plays with a lot of authority on both sides of the wicket, giving you the impression that he is a class player. His feet movement is extremely assured and there’s an element of fearlessness in his game which I really admire,” Zaheer said

He sees a similar hunger that characterizes Kohli’s batting. “For me, a legend is one who dominates his own generation and Kohli is doing that with a degree of ease. That makes him already a legend,” Zaheer said in praise of the Indian captain. It is the sense of authority in Kohli’s game that has impressed Zaheer, who has 5062 Test and 2572 ODI runs.

Kohli’s innings at Edgbaston was quite a treat and Zaheer feels there is no reason why he can’t repeat that performance in the remaining Tests. “He showed that he can be good in English conditions and I am expecting good things from him,” the Pakistan great added.

 It wasn’t too long back that Pakistan were here in England and the series ended 1-1. In fact Pakistan have always done well in this part of the world, while India have struggled more often than not. “You know it’s always about the Pakistan bowling. They always had a great attack and even now, the pace attack is quite potent. India, on the other hand, always used to be about their batting and it continues to be so. That’s one of the reasons why so many India-Pakistan games used to end in draws, because your batting line-up and our bowling line-up used to cancel each other out,” Zaheer said.

Steve Waugh Admires Virat Kohli’s Technique; Says He Is The Best Batsman In The World

Former Australian skipper Steve Waugh says “big occasion player” Virat Kohli has the best batting technique among the current cricketers in the world.

Waugh said Kohli has shown all the traits of a great batsman. “He (Kohli) has got the game to survive anywhere, I think he’s got the best technique of anyone in world cricket.

Waugh also drew a comparison of Kohli with legends such as Brian Lara and Vivian Richards.

“He (Kohli) has got the game to survive anywhere, I think he’s got the best technique of anyone in world cricket,” Waugh said.

“He and AB de Villiers have got the best techniques, and AB de Villiers is not playing Test cricket so that makes him (Kohli) the stand-out player.

“And he likes the big occasion like (Brian) Lara and Tendulkar and (Viv) Richards and Javed Miandad and all the great batsmen. They want the big occasion and that brings out the best in their cricket,” he added.

Kohli has scored 5754 runs in 67 Tests at an average of 54.28. He also amassed 9779 runs in 211 ODIs at 58.2 and 2102 runs at 48.8 in 62 T20Is.

Kohli blasted 149 and 51 runs in the first and second innings against England in the opening Test to become the seventh India batsman and the first since Sachin Tendulkar (in June 2011) to top the ICC rankings for Test batsmen.

In Spite Of The Disappointment Of The Final Outcome, Kohli Should Be Immensly Proud Of Himself:Sachin

Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has urged India captain Virat Kohli to maintain his focus after his stupendous batting display in the first Test against England at Edgbaston last week. India, however, fell short by 31 runs at the hands of the English side. Kohli’s powerful batting display caught Tendulkar’s attention prompting the latter to lavish praise on the India skipper. “I would say, just continue, he’s doing a fantastic job so just continue,” Tendulkar was quoted to as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “Don’t worry about what’s happening around you, keep your focus on what you want to achieve, and let your heart guide the way. “Along the way there will be plenty of things said and done, but eventually, if you are passionate about what you want in life, then the results will invariably follow”, he added.

Tendulkar acknowledged that – in spite of the disappointment of the final outcome – Kohli should be immensly proud of his personal achievement at Edgbaston, keeping in mind the manner in which he had a forgettable maiden tour of England in 2014.

However, he also asked Kohli to stay hungry for runs. “I can tell you from my own experience, however many runs you score they are never enough,” Tendulkar said.

“You want more runs, and that is the case with Virat. However many runs he scores, it will never be enough for him. The downfall starts when you are satisfied. It’s nice to be happy, but never be satisfied when you are a batsman. Bowlers can only get ten wickets, but batters can go on and go, so don’t be satisfied, just be happy”, he said.

India take on England at Lord’s in the second Test of the 5-match series on Thursday.

Virat Kohli Becomes No 1 Test Batsmen After Edgbaston Heroics

India skipper Virat Kohli topped the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen on Sunday, riding on his brilliant century against England in the opening Test at Edgbaston.

Kohli scored 149 and 51 in India’s 31-run defeat and has gone up by 31 points, which has helped him to end Steve Smith’s 32-month reign as the top-ranked batsman and reach the top of the summit for the first time in his 67-Test career. Kohli now leads Smith (who had held the top spot since December 2015) by five points, but will have to maintain the form in the remaining four Tests to finish the series as the world’s highest-ranked batsman.

Kohli thus became the seventh India batsman and first since Sachin Tendulkar (in June 2011) to be ranked the number one Test batsman in the latest ICC rankings.

Tendulkar had joined South Africa’s Jacques Kallis in number-one position in January 2011, but had dropped to second spot following the Jamaica Test in June 2011 after he had missed the three-Test series against the West Indies. Apart from Kohli and Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag and Dilip Vengsarkar are the other India batsmen to have achieved number-one rankings during their careers.

However, at 934 points, Kohli has become India’s highest-ranked batsman, 14th overall, on the all-time tally of points. Kohli had entered the Edgbaston Test on 903 points, 13 points behind Gavaskar, and is now ahead of the ICC Cricket Hall of Famer by 18 points.

If Kohli can deliver another strong performance in the second Test at Lord’s, then he can break into the top-10 by leapfrogging Matthew Hayden, Kallis and AB de Villiers, whose highest points tally was 935 each. Donald Bradman (961) and Steve Smith (947) are the two batsmen sitting on top of this exclusive list.

Kohli, who powered India to the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup title in 2008 and then won the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2017, is the 76th player to top the Test batting rankings.

He is also the number-one ranked ODI batsman, but is ranked 12th in T20Is, 220 points behind number-one ranked Aaron Finch of Australia. However, other Indian batsman lost ground after the first Test with Lokesh Rahul (19th) and Ajinkya Rahane (22nd) slipping one and three places respectively.

Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dawan now share 25th position after slipping two and one spots respectively. England’s wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow improved his ranking as he now shares the 12th position with the West Indies’ Kraigg Brathwaite after moving up four places. But Alistair Cook 17th (down by four places) and Ben Stokes 33rd (down by five places) lost ground after the Edgbaston Test.

England’s 20-year-old Sam Curran is another fascinating story from what was a nerve-wracking 1000th England men’s Test. The left-handed all-rounder scored 24 and 63 with the bat, and claimed match figures of five for 92 with the ball, which not only earned him the player of the match award but significant gains in the latest rankings.

IND VS ENG 1st Test: Ashwin’s Four Helps India To Restrict England Below 300 In The First Inning

England bowled out for 287 in the first inning of the match. Ashwin took four and Shami got 3 wickets. Shami took  the last one to end England’s inning.

Before  day2, Indian bowlers bowled brilliantly.Ishant and Umesh  also bowled very well and both of them took one wicket.Pandya was a bit expensive but he also bolwed some good overs in the middle.Overall, Indian bowlers performed really well.

Ravichandran Ashwin treated it as a home game, and even let rip a snorter that turned from middle stump to take Alastair Cook’s off stump even before the Test had completed its first 10 overs. He ended up as the most successful bowler, as India restricts England for just 287.

India captain Virat Kohli mocked his England rival Joe Root after running out the England captain on the opening day of the first Test at the Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham on Wednesday. England were 216 for three when Virat Kohli’s magnificent direct throw sent Joe Root packing for 80 runs. Just after the run-out, Kohli mocked Root by blowing a kiss and mimicked his ‘mic drop’ celebration. Kohli’s ‘mic drop’ gesture was the imitation of Root’s celebration during the one-day series against India two weeks ago.