It took me almost 2 hours to get started on this article as I knew I had to do justice to Kohli’s innings by writing something fancy about him, his determination and his skill. But then I realized that I had exhausted all my adjectives, attractive story lines and analogies while describing Kohli’s batting prowess over the last year or so.
His consistency forces me to come up with something different every time and that is just not possible when I have nothing new left in me. And this is where I realize the plight of all the bowlers who have bowled to him in the past 1 year. They have used every trick in the book, they have explored all kinds of deliveries that could be bowled and have tried out various innovative field settings to put Kohli off his game; but his consistency has always trumped them.
No matter what you do, be it a writer or a bowler, Virat’s consistency is going to make you work hard for your money.
A 15 over blitz from the RCB, courtesy of a belligerent Gayle and a poetic Kohli, put RCB way out of reach of the Kings XI Punjab. Their bowler tried everything that they could, but as always, nothing was good enough to uproot the genius. Gayle too continued on his good form and has now made RCBs batting look all the more frightening.
The Kings XI were never expected to challenge the RCB total and that is exactly what happened. Yuzi Chahal ran through their batting order and RCB registered another huge victory to jump to the second spot in the table.
Let’s get to business now!
Gujarat Lions vs Kolkata Knight Riders
Transfer out: Andre Russell, Virat Kohli, Yuzi Chahal
Both these teams are on 14 points and a victory today will more or less seal the playoff spot for them but with Gujarat’s negative NRR, they will be all the more desperate for a win.
KKR have just lost the plot a little bit, and were outclassed by the genius duo of ABD and Kohli in their last game. Also, with Russell’s injury, they are a superstar short and will have to rope in either Colin Munro or Chriss Lynn in order to replace him. I don’t see much use of bringing in Holder in place of Russell as Holder is not at all effective on flat Indian wickets. They could maybe leave out Suryakumar Yadav for an Indian bowler.
The Gujarat Lions have had a long rest period and would have direly needed that after the battering they received at the hands of the RCB. Raina has returned, after the birth of his child and would be raring to catch up on Kohli, who overtook him as the highest run scorer in the IPL
Kanpur is a new venue in the IPL and the curator has said that it is going to be a high scoring pitch. So, bring in a few of the big hitters.
Now, I already have Robin Uthappa and Andre Russell (who has been ruled out of this game) in my side.
With Gujarat playing two home games in the space of 4 days, it make sense to bring in two players from their team into my side.
The first player that I get in for this game is Suresh Raina as he’ll be up against a spin bowling attack that will play right into his hands. Piyush Chawla and Shakib Al Hasan will be turning the ball into him and he only has to play out Morkel, who anyways hasn’t been in great form.
Now,while Finch has been their most consistent batsman, he hasn’t been used at the top of the order and thus that nullifies his ‘point providing’ potential. So, I leave him out!
Smith would be up against the trickery of Shakib and Piyush Chawla and we all know about his vulnerabilities against quality spin bowling. So, that rules him out.
McCullum can be ruthless on a true batting track and while he too has his problems against spin, I would go with him over Finch and Smith. But do watch out for the pitch report before you make this change as a slow, damp track could hamper McCullum’s stroke play. Save the transfer in that case.
Yusuf Pathan has made a great case for his selection with his performances this season and with Russell ruled out, he becomes the sole big hitter in the KKR side. But with the top 3 firing for KKR, his entry could be a bit delayed and thus I leave him out. If you want to get him in, do so only if KKR bat first.
Dwayne Bravo has leaked a lot of runs in the last few games and with Kanpur being a batting track, I don’t expect him to have a revival of any sort.
For the uncapped player, I get in either Shivil Kaushik or Pravin Tambe whoever gets a game today. If both of them play, I will go with the experienced Tambe.
Batting captain: Robin Uthappa(if KKR bat second)/ Brendon McCullum(if GL bat second)
Bowling captain: PravinTambe