Kohli packs quite a punch in his relatively small but muscular frame, outperforming players much bigger in size with his timing, fitness and running between the wickets. Though he doesn’t have the power of a Chris Gayle, David Warner or Chris Lynn, Kohli more than makes up for it with his ability to find gaps and convert good balls into boundaries.
While his 175cm frame doesn’t give him a lot of leverage, his placement and timing allow Kohli to maintain a high strike rate and average in all formats. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he is the only batsman to average more than 50 in all formats of the game.
Kiwi captain and prolific scorer Kane Williamson is of similar stature – 173cms – and the two batsmen have shown that bigger is not always better.
Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were mainly responsible for India’s 28-run win, just two days after the tourists completed a 5-1 thrashing of the hosts in the ODI series.
India captain Kohli left the field 13 overs into South Africa’s innings after suffering a left leg strain while batting.
“I tweaked my glute a little bit. Thankfully it’s not my hamstring,” he said.
“I felt a little more stiffness (in the field) so I decided to go off and not be stupid and tear a muscle.”
Dhawan made 72 in an Indian total of 203-5 after they were sent in to bat.
Then opening bowler Kumar claimed career-best figures of 5-24 as South Africa were restricted to 175-9.
Kumar took the first two wickets and put a clamp on South Africa’s scoring rate with an opening spell of two for 19 in three overs, displaying superb control and changes of pace.
Then he came back to settle the contest and secure the man-of-the-match award by taking three wickets and conceding only five runs in the 18th over.
South Africa were outplayed once again despite a fourth wicket partnership of 81 off 54 balls between Reeza Hendricks (70) and Farhaan Behardien (39) with India superior in all departments.
Virat Kohli has a left hip problem. Being monitored by physio. Team management says 'nothing serious'. #SAvInd— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) February 18, 2018
Kohli hailed “one of our most balanced performances” in a T20 international.
South African captain JP Duminy admitted he was disappointed but backed a policy of short-pitched bowling in an attempt to take wickets when India batted.
The left-handed Dhawan hit ten fours and two sixes in a 39-ball innings.
He was lucky to escape on ten when he flicked a ball down the leg side from Junior Dala.
South Africa appealed half-heartedly for a catch behind and the ball was called wide. Replays showed the ball had brushed his glove.
India made a flying start, with Rohit Sharma cutting the second ball from Dane Paterson for six. He added a second six in an over which yielded 18 runs.
Sharma was caught behind off new cap Dala in the second over but all the Indian batsmen followed his attacking example on a ground where there had been three successful run chases of over 200 in T20 internationals.
Kohli’s run of big scores ended when he was leg before wicket to left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi for 26. He had been dropped off the same bowler at long-on when he had ten.
South Africa were without star batsman AB de Villiers, who was ruled out of the series after suffering a blow to his left knee ahead of the sixth one-day international in Centurion on Friday.
India also suffered an injury blow, with left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav missing because of a thumb injury suffered in Centurion when India completed a 5-1 series win.
What are the first names that come to mind when you talk about the England team, irrespective of formats? Joe Root, James Anderson, Ben Stokes. Also, Jos Buttler and Alex Hales.
As the Three Lions prepare to spend yet another month in the Antipodes – England’s tour down under began in October and will end in April – the one player who has delivered almost every time he has worn an England jersey is a bloke who made his international bow at 30.
Dawid Malan will most likely spend close to the entire seven-month duration with the team. He did not play the ODI series in Australia which England won 4-1 to avenge, to an extent, the Ashes drubbing. But in the nine international matches he has played (five Ashes Tests and four T20s in New Zealand), Malan has scored three fifties and a century in red ball cricket and three T20 fifties.
By comparison, Hales scored a solitary fifty from nine limited-overs matches. Not only did Malan prove to be a more reliable batsman irrespective of the format, opposition or venue, his leg spin has emerged as a wicket-taking option. In what turned out to be the final game of the T20 tri-series for England, Malan produced three wicket-taking deliveries before dismissing the well-set Martin Guptill towards the end of the chase on Sunday. He was hit for three sixes before getting a wicket midway through his second over, but Malan showed enough guile with his leg spin and finely disguised googly to give England a limited-overs slow bowling option.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid is the first-choice white ball wrist spinner for England but Malan is not too bad a second option.
And Malan is not the only unassuming, hard-working bloke who has offered his side a lot more than many of the more flamboyant members of the team.
When you talk about the India side, regardless of formats, the names that are talked about first invariably are Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and so on. The hair style and hair colour of all-rounder Hardik Pandya attract as much attention as his performance on the field.
But if you look at India’s tour of South Africa, the one player – apart from captain Virat Kohli – who has proved to be of immense value is Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The Uttar Pradesh seamer had an outstanding Test series where he picked up 10 wickets in two Tests and batted with great resolve against extreme pace on some dicey wickets for scores of 25, 13*, 30 and 33. He had a poor first ODI against the Proteas where he went for 71 runs and remained on the expensive side as India registered a historic ODI series win. But he got right back into the thick of things, finishing with 5-24 in the opening T20 against the Proteas.
While players like Pandya and Rohit will most likely hog the limelight, the Bhuvneshwar Kumars of the world are the glue that hold teams together over the long run.
Maybe you don’t need to have flamboyant techniques, crazy hairstyles or elaborate tattoos to get the job done on the cricket field.