Cricket

Kohli delights the Wankhede fans again

His 392 runs over 11 seasons is the highest by a non-MI batsman at the venue

From a fledgling in international cricket to a seasoned campaigner, Virat Kohli has hardly left the Wankhede Stadium without making the bowlers of all varieties pay a heavy price.

Turning out in RCB colours for the ninth time here on Tuesday, Kohli played a gem of a knock embellished with sparkling shots. His unbeaten 92 took his tally to 392 runs off 271 balls. Eight knocks have been against Mumbai Indians, the exception being the one against Chennai Super Kings in 2011. His aggregate is the highest by a non-MI batsman at the venue.

The departure of A.B. de Villiers made him switch gears and he tried to bat deep but with more wickets tumbling, he perhaps gave up on a pitch that offered some purchase for spinners..

Apart from being beaten once by a Mitchell McGlenaghan delivery, Kohli, for almost all of the 62 balls he faced, was in full control with some shots making a prominent and efficient deployment of the top hand. He had sized up the wicket well to cut out undue risks, especially against leg spinner Mayank Markande, whom he faced 14 times and scored only 15.

Seven years ago, taking guard after the fall of Sachin Tendulkar at 31 for 2 in the ICC World Cup final, Kohli showed his mettle with a courageous 49-ball 35 and helped Gautam Gambhir take India’s score to 114. He had shown the potential then and almost every time he has stepped to bat on the Wankhede pitch, he has given the impression that he gets into the groove without fuss and scores good number of runs.

Kohli, who took his tally to 201 runs in the current edition to get the Orange Cap, later said “I don't really want to wear this right now. We just threw it away and need to reflect on our dismissals. One or two good partnerships would’ve done it for us, but credit to Mumbai who bowled really well.’’

A packed house saw a quality innings. It was not all ‘slam bang’ and there was much refinement and timing in his execution of strokes, quite the opposite of Dwayne Bravo’s swashbuckling effort in the league opener.

Kohli’s scores at the Wankhede in the IPL are: 23,70* (against CSK), 36*, 1, 35, 82*, 33, 20, 92*

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 12:23:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/kohli-delights-the-wankhede-fans-again/article23589338.ece

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