Under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, India has moved on to become a formidable name in the T20 international cricket. The timing of it couldn’t be better, especially considering that the Men’s T20 World Cup is set to take place in 2021. Kohli’s most recent accomplishment includes cleverly winning the T20 Series in Australia by 2-1.
By winning the series in Australia, Kohli became the first Indian skipper to win T20 series in all SENA countries - South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and England. Not only that, but he is also the first of his countrymen to beat the Kangaroos at a series level in all three formats of the game in Australia.
At the moment, his T20 win rate as a captain stands at an impeccable 65% in 40 matches - one of the highest in the fields. One of his most recent impressive accomplishments includes a T20 series sweep in New Zealand with 5-0.
Even online cricket betting sites are bound to adjust their odds when they see Kohli leading the side, especially in the shortest format of the game.
Clearly, the 32-year-old is on his way to becoming a God of Twenty-20. Let’s quickly take a look at how he pulled off the great cricket win in the land down under.
The first T20I against Australia saw the Men in Blue make use of the concussion substitute rule laid down by the ICC. In the second ball of the final over of India’s innings, Ravindra Jadeja was struck on the helmet by Mitchell Starc’s fast delivery. However, no concussion test was conducted then and Jadeja moved on to take his innings to an impressive 44 not out off 23 balls.
But during the innings break, it seemed that Jadeja had a concussion and was feeling dizzy. Consequently, the team India decided to replace him with ‘like-for-like’ replacement Yuzvendra Chahal. As we know, Chahal moved on to take 3 wickets from 25 runs, guiding India to their incredible T20 win.
The Aussies cried foul over this for obvious reasons. Their head coach Justin Langer was not pleased with the decision while Moises Henriques questioned the replacement of Jadeja - an all-rounder, with Chahal - an outright spinner.
T Natarajan, hailing from Tamil Nadu, may have made his international ODI debut only in the third ODI against Australia in Canberra, but in a very short time, he has turned a lot of heads around. He has since then moved on to take 8 wickets, including his 3-30 with Chahal in the first T20 international.
Hardik Pandya, who was dubbed the Player of the T20 Series for his brilliant performance, mentioned that Natarajan deserved it more for his outstanding performance. So much so that Pandya, in a beautiful gesture, gave his trophy to the 29-year-old seamer.
If Natarajan continues to play this way, he will be a valuable addition to Kohli and team India’s arsenal of fast bowlers.
There is now the upcoming test series against the Aussies which Kohli will need to eye. India will be without Hardik Pandya in this endeavour; that said, there are a few prolific test players who have been called upon to represent the country in Australia.
Then, of course, there is the matter of Kohli achieving the impossible - winning the Indian Premier League with Royal Challengers Bangalore, or any other club for that matter. Whatever may be the case, it is evident that Kohli is starting to hit his captaincy prime and India are in for a wonderful spell.