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Aakash Chopra On Virat Kohli

Aakash Chopra has highlighted that Virat Kohli’s underwhelming returns in the ODI series between India and New Zealand prove that even in-form batting greats cannot score a century in every game.

Virat Kohli scored 36 runs off 27 deliveries in the Men in Blue’s mammoth total of 385/9 in the third and final ODI in Indore on Tuesday, January 24. The Indian bowlers then bowled out the Black Caps for 295 to complete an emphatic 90-run win.

Virat Kohli // Getty
Virat Kohli // Getty

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra reflected on India’s batting performance in the final ODI.

Virat Kohli came into India vs New Zealand series on the back of two massive hundreds against Sri Lanka but was unable to repeat his magic. He was clean bowled by a straight delivery from spinner Mitchell Santner after scoring 8 in the 1st ODI. He was stumped by Tom Latham and bowled by spinner Mitchell Santner after scoring 11 in the 2nd ODI. In the 3rd ODI, he was caught by Finn Allen off Jacob Duffy after scoring 36.

The former Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the Player of the Series award for his dominant performances against Sri Lanka, smashing two centuries, including an unbeaten knock of 166 runs in the third and final ODI. He also scored 113 in the 1st ODI and amassed 283 runs in 3 ODIs averaging 142.5.

As for Virat Kohli’s below-par series, he said: “Virat Kohli’s bat did not fire in this series. He scored 36 runs. After the 46th hundred, it seemed he will score a century in every match. Everyone was saying that but it does not happen like that. It’s a gentle reminder to everyone that a century cannot be scored in every match, that’s international cricket.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra pointed out that the hosts seemed to be heading to a 400-plus total after Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma’s explosive centuries but failed to do so, observing: “The way the openers started hitting, it seemed a T20 match was on. India had scored 170-180 runs in 20 overs, that many only are scored in T20s. Then both the openers scored centuries. I thought one guy would score a double century and India would go beyond 400 but that did not happen.”

While Rohit Sharma ended his century drought with an 85-ball 101, Shubman Gill smashed 112 runs off 78 balls. The duo strung together a 212-run opening-wicket partnership in 26 overs to put India in a great position to breach the 400-run mark.

Aakash Chopra: Ishan Kishan Has Missed His Chances As He Had Not Utilized Batting Opportunities

Young Ishan Kishan got his chance in the third and final inconsequential ODI against Bangladesh at Chattogram against Bangladesh after captain Rohit Sharma was ruled out due to an injury. Ishan Kishan eventually perished for 210 off 131 balls.

His innings was laced with 10 sixes and 24 boundaries. Ishan Kishan became the fourth Indian to hit a double hundred in ODI cricket. Ishan Kishan completed the 200 in just 126 deliveries, which is now the fastest double-hundred ever scored. He was the first batter to convert his maiden ODI 100 to 200. However, he missed his chances in the New Zealand ODI series.

Aakash Chopra highlighted that Ishan Kishan failed to grab the chances he got, elaborating: “Ishan Kishan has missed his chances. He didn’t get too much batting but whatever he got, he has not utilized it. That’s a problem because when KL Rahul comes, it will not be a debate. KL Rahul will come, he will keep wickets and bat at this number. He is definitely a better choice.”

Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan - SPORTZPICS
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan – SPORTZPICS

Aakash Chopra reckons Suryakumar Yadav is unlikely to be a part of India’s full-strength ODI XI, explaining: “Suryakumar Yadav also had two chances to score runs. He didn’t score that many runs. He got out for 14 in this innings. He had a chance to score runs in Hyderabad as well, there also he scored a few runs but it was not a big score. Don’t be too surprised if he also loses his spot as soon as the entire team is fit and available.”

Ishan Kishan managed just 30 runs at an average of 15.00 in the three-match series. Suryakumar Yadav scored 45 runs in his two hits but failed to play a substantial knock.

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