A 2019 Wishlist for Virat Kohli Ft an ODI Double Ton & IPL Title
In his decade-long international career, Virat Kohli has achieved a lot; he is an U19 World Cup winning captain, an ODI World Cup winner, is currently the world’s top-ranked batsman, and is well on his way to greatness – if he isn’t a “great” cricketer already.
The batsman from Delhi is at ease playing all the three formats of the game – and therefore is undoubtedly the cricketer of the current generation. He means business when on the field: he is aggressive in body language, lets his performance do the talking and wants to get the better of the opponents every single time. Off the field, he oozes class, is stylish and charming – and a role model for a generation of youngsters.
The burden of captaincy can often weigh players down. Not in the case of Kohli; it appears Kohli gets motivated and spurred, rather than be weighed down, by the responsibilities of leadership.
Since being appointed regular Indian captain in the middle of 2015, Kohli has raised his game by several notches. He has in a sense redefined consistency; he has been the top-scorer in international cricket for three years in a row now.
Kohli, the fierce competitor he is, will be aware there is plenty more to achieve in the coming year. Here’s a wish list reminding the modern-day great all things he should aspire to achieve in the coming twelve months.
1. Win a Test Series in Australia
Australia is one of two nations where Team India have never previously won a Test series in. And 2019 presents Kohli a great opportunity to accomplish that.
Following wins in Adelaide and Melbourne, Kohli’s team is sitting with a 2-1 lead, and a win or a draw in the New Year’s Test in Sydney will ensure a first-ever Test series win in Australia for Team India.
2. Win the 2019 World Cup
The quadrennial ICC ODI World Cup will be played in England from May to July. Kohli is already a World Cup winner – having been part of the Indian team that won the title in 2011. But winning a World Cup as a captain elevates a player to a higher pedestal altogether. One can be pretty sure that the World Cup will be one trophy Kohli will be desperate to get his hands on.
Kohli has now competed in two World Cups; he has begun both events with a bang – 100 not out in the World Cup 2011 opener against Bangladesh, and 107 against Pakistan in the Indian team’s World Cup 2015 opener – but his performance has tapered off thereafter.
Being the top-ranked batsman in the ODIs, Kohli will be aware he needs to power from the front – right through the ten-team event – if Team India are to nurture any hopes of clinching the title.
3. Double Hundred in ODI
The one peak that Kohli is yet to scale is the ‘Mount 200’; his highest score in ODIs is 183. Since that knock against Bangladesh in 2012, while Kohli has made 27 hundreds, he hasn’t been able to better that performance and score the double-hundred.
Of course, most of Kohli’s tons so far have been match-winning efforts – several of them in run-chases too. Given his supreme fitness levels and powers of concentration, it might not be too long before he reaches the 200-run mark; keep an eye out for occasions when Team India bats first and Kohli has opportunity to walk out to bat early in the innings.
4. Triple Hundred in Test Cricket
Virat Kohli has scored 6 Test double hundreds, but he has failed to carry on and join the elite 300-club, of which only two Indian batsmen (Virender Sehwag and Karun Nair) are members.
Over the next twelve months, Team India will play Test matches against the Windies (Away), Bangladesh and South Africa (both at home). That 300-run mark is something he could aspire to get membership for in the coming year.
5. Win an IPL Title
Over the last few years, Virat Kohli has lit up the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, and several Indian Premier League matches with scintillating stroke play. However, for all his spectacular knocks, his team Royal Challengers Bangalore are yet to win their first IPL title. Even in 2016 when Kohli scored an unprecedented 973 runs (which included 4 hundreds) in the season, RCB only finished runner-up.
In 2019, Kohli will continue to skipper RCB – and he will team up with coach Gary Kirsten, who also coached India to the 2011 World Cup. Season after season, RCB have been identified as favourites to win the IPL title prior to the season – only to disappoint. Hopefully, the Kohli-Kirsten pair will help RCB live up to its billing as favourites.
Virat Kohli celebrated his 30th birthday towards the end of 2018, and the general belief is batsmen tend to play their best cricket once they’re past the age of 30. There’s every reason therefore to believe Kohli will accomplish everything mentioned in the wish list above. And more.
Here’s wishing Virat Kohli and his Indian teammates all the very best in the year 2019!