Friday, January 22, 2016

'Slowing down for 100' Virat Kohli criticised by Glenn Maxwell for chasing century

VIRAT Kohli has been in outstanding form this series but not everybody is entirely convinced the Indian superstar has played the game the right way against Australia.

Following his match-winning knock at the MCG, Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell – who hauled out for 96 in the penultimate over trying to hit a six – suggested India’s batsmen had focused too much on personal landmarks, hurting the team by slowing down the run rate.
“They were probably just making sure they got to a milestone,” Maxwell said on Sunday. “Some people are milestone driven, some people aren’t.

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Expanding on those comments on Thursday, Maxwell singled out Kohli for criticism, saying the 27-year-old lost momentum because of his century ambitions in the game at Manuka Oval, a match remarkably won by Australia after India collapsed from 1-277 to be all out for 323.
“I was sent a photo the other day, it said Virat was 84 off 63, and then 100 off 89 or something like that. He got his last 11 runs off 22 balls to get his hundred,” he told Wisden India.
Maxwell was right in his assertion that Kohli slowed down as he neared his hundred, though he was slightly off the mark with his figures, as the No.3 went from 84 off 61 to 100 off 84 and took 21 balls rather than 22 to make the 11 runs he needed to reach triple figures
“I thought about that and I was like, ‘Jeez he did it so easily all the way up until then, and then you just lose a bit of momentum’.

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“Then you look on the other hand, when you watch David Warner get into the 90s and he tries to hit Ishant Sharma for a slog-sweep for six. It’s just, to me, that’s two complete different ends of the spectrum. And then you look at the scoreline and you see 4-0. And to me, I’d much rather be 4-0 basically.”
In fairness to Kohli, he was still looking to play his shots in the 90s only to hit fielders, and a match earlier at the MCG he moved from 84 to 100 in exactly 16 balls. He also gave up his wicket chasing quick runs in the first ODI at the WACA, caught in the deep for 91 looking to up the run rate.

But in that same game Rohit Sharma took 16 balls to move from 90 to 100, and a game later at the Gabba he went from 94 off 98 to 100 off 112. In both matches the consensus was that India had fallen 30 runs short of what it needed.
So while India may lead the century charts 5-3, Australia has outscored it by 1263 to 1235 and made those runs at a quicker rate too (6.41 an over to 6.20). Not huge differences but enough for Australia to be just one game away from a 5-0 clean sweep, and indicative of the way the team plays under Darren Lehmann.
“The way Boof has talked to us always has been: ‘Take the game on, take the game on, take the game on. I don’t care if you’re on 90, I don’t care if you’re on zero, take the game on’

“If you face an off-spinner first ball and you’re on zero and you’ve just lost three wickets, try and hit him for six. Don’t do yourself in, just try and hit him for six. You’ve got everyone’s backing, try and hit him for six. The other night (in Canberra, where Australia made 348 for 8), he was upset after the game. He thought we’d left 40 or 50 runs short out on the ground. That’s how much he has been pushing us. And when you’ve got a coach like that, it just drives everyone to be better, and that’s a great thing for Australian cricket.”

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