Virat Kohli rises above the rate of inflation

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Virat Kohli has probably just hit a six even though that doesn't look at all likely

Every year they change the rules for one-day internationals and every year the highest-scoring matches become even higher scoring. That’s where the effects are most keenly felt – at the top end. If there’s one man you want in your team in a modern world where targets of 350 and more are increasingly common, it’s Virat Kohli.

There are plenty of stats out there about Virat Kohli in run chases. Seek them out if you feel that you need them. We’ll just point to his last two hundreds – 100 not out off 52 balls chasing 360 and 115 not out off 66 balls chasing 351. India won both those matches.

Kohli is the finisher who bats at three. He does the same thing Michael Bevan did, but he does it from farther out facing a higher asking rate. That’s not to say that he’s better, because he plays in matches where it’s easier to set high asking rates and more difficult to dismiss batsmen. It’s a different thing.

But Kohli is no mere slogger (although he can certainly slog). On a scorecard, his innings may seem like they should be lumped in with the hell-for-leather, all-or-nothing efforts of Twenty20 players like Kieron Pollard, Glenn Maxwell or Luke Wright. But the difference is that Kohli’s efforts are sustainable. His is an engine which can cruise at those scoring speeds. He’s no dragster.

That’s why we likened him to Bevan. His calculations might not be quite so fastidious, but he still gauges his effort according to the demands of the situation. It’s the same job in a very, very different world.


  1. MSD has had a bit of a pop at the new rules:

    Cricket has always been based around the idea that batsmen can accumulate runs up to the point they make one mistake. That’s the beauty and subtlety of it. T20 destroys this by having too many batsmen for the time available, so wickets are much less important than no balls, for example. These latest ODI rules destroy it by allowing batsmen play (and get away with) too many risky shots. In fact, quite a lot of the scoring is done with mistakes. Kohli’s best scoring area was cover / extra cover, playing the drive. His next best scoring area was third man, i.e. also playing the drive, only making a balls of it instead.

    Still, I guess that’s what everyone wants – batsmen completely unconstrained. Swipe and miss, swipe and miss, swipe and hit gives a scoring rate of 8 an over, and everyone’s happy.

  2. This probably marks me out as some sort of dreadful cricket hipster but I think I’d much rather have watched the Pakistan v South Africa match.

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