October 23, 2010

Kohli makes selection committee proud


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Well it’s an established fact that the selection committee gets all the flak when their team fails to deliver but they seldom get praised or even recognized when the boys picked by them succeed beyond expectations.

The chairman and the members of the selection committee are in the firing line for the slightest of mistakes but they are hardly mentioned when their tactical moves pay rich dividends.

India’s national selection committee, headed by Kris Srikkanth, deserve to be complimented for have reposed confidence in Virat Kohli who made them proud by a match-winning century in the second One-day International against Australia in Visakhapatnam.

Srikkanth, who was a rare attacking batsman in the Indian line-up of the 1980s, described the victory as a confidence-booster ahead of the World Cup. India's highest successful chase against Australia in the absence of five first-choice players, Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Harbhajan Singh, certainly gladdened the hearts of the selectors.

"It was an important win in the context of the World Cup because it creates confidence in the team. When you win against the number one one-day team in the world chasing a record total, it is all the more satisfying,” he remarked in an interview.

“The way we approached the game was fantastic. The good sign is that the youngsters are putting up their hands and taking up responsibility. It has proved that we have strong bench strength. It's always heartening to see youngsters winning matches for you. It is a good sign for any country," Srikkanth said.

“We have held meetings with the captain, coach, team management and the BCCI. We know what they are doing with the board. We have drawn up a beautiful plan in coordination with all sides concerned. We're on track," he reckoned.

Kohli, in particularly, batted exceptionally well to guide India to a resounding five-wicket victory with plenty of deliveries remaining.

“Honestly I was struggling to get runs. I had not scored in last six-seven matches. I was under pressure. I was not hitting in the gaps. It was very satisfying and it gives you a lot of confidence when you score chasing under pressure. I will not say my place is cemented. I have to keep performing well in few more chases,” Kohli conceded.

“You try to learn from the mistakes. You tend to fail sometimes. This is part and parcel of the game. You do the basics right and train hard, it pays back. I didn't perform well in last two series. I could not convert my scores into big knocks. There was a struggle for a place," the youngster felt.

Well Kohli has to keep performing in order to stay in the team. With so much competition for the batting slots he needs to score prolifically in whatever opportunities that come his way. He also has to prove his worth on the livelier pitches that greet the Indians away from the comfort of home.


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