Fair enough to say, it has now become a tired feeling to observe Virat Kohli falling in every innings in the exact same fashion; the off stump is the beginning and ending of the whole story. It’s very hard and unfortunate to follow his century drought for last couple of years; and to be honest, his spectacular conversion rate has somehow spoiled our habit. He still has a superb record; doesn’t he? But…
The Same Schedule for Every Innings:
A wicket goes down; Kohli charges down to the middle, all the fans anticipate a huge innings in various social platforms; Virat plays some glorious shots just to lift up the mojo; sometimes reaches to his fifty and ends it chasing a wide delivery no-where near his reach. Even the commentators seem to be running out of words to describe the type of dismissal, it appears. Only, the memes find a new content to disclose.
Learning it from the Master Blaster:
But what can he do now? Well, he knows better than anyone else in the world. Considering his class, the century might look around the corner but in reality, it’s not coming that easily it seemed to be. That’s when he may need to take a leaf out of the knock of his childhood hero, Sachin Tendulkar. The Master Blaster showed in his 241 at Sydney in the 2003-’04 tour of how to show patience and keep ego aside crossing the rope.
It goes without saying how tough batting is specially in the longest format of the game. You have just one chance to break down; on the flip of the coin, the bowlers have too many. But, looking at some of the of late runs from Virat, he looks like a rabbit in the headlight. And his last innings of 2021 against South Africa at the Super-Sports Park figured out how frustrated he was getting with himself.
Even though if you are such a huge successor, you always have to change yourself and keep updated to maintain the bar high because the world will keep on trying to do their best to get the better of you.
Tendulkar’s Poor Run of Form:
Sachin Tendulkar wasn’t having a greatest of the Australia tour back in 2003-’04 with not a single half century in four innings i.e., 0, 1, 37, 0 & 44 in his five Test innings. The series was level as both teams arrived in Sydney for the decider in the New Year’s Test.
India had shouldered on Rahul Dravid & VVS Laxman to snatch victory in the Adelaide Test. Australia went on to make a return on the Boxing Day Test; Sachin even though looked quite solid but again ended up fishing outside of the off stump while playing a very costly cover-drive.
Then, he arrived in the middle of SCG with a heavy baggage of 82-runs in 5-innings including two ducks. Just couple of Test innings remained for him to sustain his legendary feat on the lands of Aussies.
An Innings People may not See Again:
The Australian fast bowlers as soon as saw Tendulkar on the fall of two quick wickets walking into his temple, the 22-yard, had already adjusted the plans of bowling full with 5-high skill catches awaiting behind. But they were unaware of the high hard character of the man before them.
It was an extra-ordinary innings of 10-hours dedication; one has no right to catalyze it in words. The universe who used to observe the drives through the gaps off the front and back foot, was watching the genius leaving the juicy balls with immense joy & patience. After beginning his innings, Tendulkar was on 241 on the third morning without a single drive to the off-side. The whole Sydney crowd stood on their feet to acknowledge the domination when India declared with an Everest of 705/7.
Tendulkar invented new stylish shots:
What add an extra flavor in the whole recipe was not losing concentration even after congratulating VVX Laxman for the pleasing cover-drives he was playing on the other end. Humans fall short there; but he was the God of the Game.
If the balls were coming towards the stumps, Sachin was using his wrists to flick it over the ropes; he went across the off-side and hit a 4th stump delivery down the ground with full face of the blade; he cut and swept the spinners but never drove. With a flick, he reached to what called a comeback century by the commentators.
The job was still half-done:
The weakness of the tail and the importance of a huge first innings score was flying in his mind; he knew the glass was still half-full. The Aussies went in the bouncer mode; Tendulkar pulled them with delight. He notched up another double century but with a quick single.
In the second innings, when the tourists were looking for quick runs for the declaration, Tendulkar knocked an impressive rapid 60.
“I had got out a couple of times to balls outside the off stump. So, I decided not to play the cover-drive.” Recalled the Master Blasted later on. “I had a plan and I am happy I could execute it well.”
Such a Genius Sachin was; he entered Sydney with low scores (total of 82-runs in first five innings) and pressure on his shoulders; he ended the tour with 383-runs at an average of 76.60.
Virat’s possible aim:
Even though I am not certainly the best person to throw him truck-loaded lessons, but he has to watch Tendulkar’s innings time after time. Kohli is not someone whose scoring depends on cover-drives only, from flicks to pull, he has every shot in his book.
He will love to break the shackles in the next two Test against South Africa and give my best to reach up the three-figure mark, especially in his 100th Test in Cape Town.
Takes time, shows patience, even though your hands are shaking to throw the willow at the bat; just play other types of all safe shots; the bowlers will get tired and then you can control them according to you. Even though if you score a 300-ball 100, no problem; because since then, you will get the old crack back; it’s all about one innings.
Like so many fans, I’ eagerly waiting to show how Kohli celebrates after reaching the milestone; he will drop a deep breath after-all. The million-dollar question is when will he touch the feat? Hopefully, the fat lady is still singing.