VIRAT’S CHOICE

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Oct 2018 14:57:31

AFTER the clinical and ruthless clean sweep of the Test series against the touring West Indies proved to be a much-needed morale booster, having received a drubbing on the English tour earlier, the Indian cricket team would be hoping to repeat the performance during the One-Day series which got underway on Sunday. The series would be more important for captain Virat Kohli and some of the hopefuls who would be looking to fill up the vacant slots in team India in the light of the forthcoming tour of Australia and more importantly in preparation for the World Cup in England.  

The One-Day series against West Indies is important from the point of view of Virat Kohli because he feels that the number four slot in his batting line-up is still not settled and he will be looking to this series for a batsman who would fill up the slot. Recently he said that Ambati Rayudu’s consistency would solve the problem. During the England tour the middle order batting was a big let-down. And this spot bothers Virat Kohli and the team management. Hence they would be looking to find answers to flaws that surfaced during the tour of England.  

In the past few months the team management had tried several combinations but they failed to fulfill the expectations. Virat Kohli’s optimism is based on Ambati Rayudu’s recent Asia Cup showing. It is upto Ambati Rayudu to live up to the expectations of the Captain because he too had been given several opportunities to cement his place in the team but consistency remained the problem with Raidu and several other players who have the talent but did not do justice to it.  

Hence it would be premature to pass the final judgement on a player on the basis of just one performance. The judgement on a player also depends on the kind of opposition he is pitted against. The present West Indian team is hardly the opposition which can give a correct picture. The true test would be when the Indian team would be travelling to Australia where real talent would be tested because of the kind of opposition and also the playing conditions.

While the touring West Indies team captain Jason Holder acknowledges that the present Indian team is a formidable one in the world, South African great ABD Villiers has little doubt that the Indian team has a good chance to beat Australia during the forthcoming tour, notwithstanding its recent losses overseas. De Villiers feels that during these tours batting let India down but he feels the series Down Under in December will see the turn around. And Virat Kohli would be hoping to sort out whatever shortcomings there are in the team during the ongoing One-Day series against the West Indies.