Kohli spirit drives on India

Updated: 26 February 2011 14:53 IST

Indian superstars Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Mahendra Singh Dhoni may hog the headlines, but youngster Virat Kohli is grabbing the attention.

Kohli spirit drives on India
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Bangalore:

Indian superstars Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Mahendra Singh Dhoni may hog the headlines, but youngster Virat Kohli is grabbing the attention.

At just 22 years old, middle-order batsman Kohli has become India's Mr Consistency ever since making his one-day debut in Sri Lanka in 2008 as a replacement for the injured Sehwag.

He acquitted himself well in his debut series, scoring 159 runs in five matches with one half-century, but had to wait before cementing his place in the team.

There was no stage fright for the youngster when he made his World Cup debut against Bangladesh in Dhaka, hammering an unbeaten century off just 83 balls to set up his team's victory.

The day-night match will be remembered for Sehwag's blazing 175 off just 140 balls but Kohli matched his senior partner shot for shot.

"He (Kohli) is maturing every day. Once he threw his wicket away after getting a 30 or 40 and I advised him never to do that again. Since then, he has scored five one-day hundreds. He is a quick learner," said Sehwag.

Kohli's big moment came when he hammered a maiden one-day century, against Sri Lanka in 2009.

Fierce competition for batting places in the team has only brought the best out of Kohli in recent years as he realised he needed to be consistent to catch the eye in a side having plenty of superstars.

Consistency has now become the hallmark of Kohli's batting as he has scored three hundreds and four half-centuries in his last 12 one-dayers, including 54 and an unbeaten 87 in a recent tough away series in South Africa.

Kohli has already done well against good attacks, cracking a career-best 118 against Australia in Vishakhapatnam last year. In his very next match, against New Zealand in Guwahati, he made another hundred.

"It is all about looking in the face of the opposition. They might be the best bowlers in the world, but if you are confident of your ability, you can succeed," said Kohli.

He had tasted success before finding a place in the senior team, having led his side to victory in the Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia in 2008. He has so far scored 1,772 runs in 46 one-dayers with a strike-rate of 83.62.

England will ignore Kohli at their own peril when they take on India in a day-night World Cup match in Bangalore on Sunday.

Topics : Virat Kohli Cricket ICC World Cup, 2011 India
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