India v WI ODI: Kohli's 10,000-run milestone main talking point in Vizag

Ajit Vijaykumar 19:10 23/10/2018
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Kohli and Rohit finish the job. Image- BCCI/Twitter.

There is an ODI series going on in India against the West Indies. But on Wednesday, the actual contest will be pushed to the back burner as India skipper Virat Kohli approaches 10,000 runs in ODIs.

Kohli needs 81 more runs to reach that landmark and given the lack of bite in the West Indies bowling, expect the ace batsman to reach the milestone in the second match of the series in Vizag.

India enter the game high on confidence in the batting department, having chased down 323 with nearly eight overs left in the first match in Guwahati as Kohli cracked 140 while opener Rohit Sharma smashed an unbeaten 152. The Caribbean side need to plug many holes as India too will look to tighten things up in Vizag.

Here we take a look at the main talking points in the second game.

KOHLI THE ODI MASTER

Kohli is already considered by many as the greatest ODI batsman of all time because of his phenomenal record in 50-over matches. He has 20 centuries in 75 successful chases, which is already way better than the next man on the list – Sachin Tendulkar with 14 tons in 124 innings. He has 36 ODI centuries and if he gets to within 19 runs of his 37th in the second match, he would cross the 10,000-run mark.

If the India skipper does manage to reach the landmark today, he would have done so in 205 innings – once again by far the quickest to the mark. Sachin Tendulkar reached the milestone in 259 ODI innings.

There are very few batting records out of Kohli’s reach. By the time he finishes his career, he should have most of them in his bag. The only thing that can stop him is his workload and burnout. In India, there seems no stopping the all-time great.

BOWLING AND FIELDING WOES

India’s batting was brilliant in the first match in Guwahati. But their bowling and fielding was far from top-notch. India’s fielders, including Kohli, dived over the ball and allowed a handful of boundaries while Rishabh Pant – in the outfield – struggled and even dropped Jason Holder in the death overs.

In the bowling department, only leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (3-41) impressed with his control as all other bowlers went for plenty with Mohammed Shami bleeding 2-81. The men in blue didn’t pick left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav in the first match and since they announced the same playing XI for the second game, expect him to come in for either Shami or spinner Ravindra Jadeja.

The wickets at next year’s World Cup in England are likely to be as true as the one in Guwahati and India need to have at least two solid back-up bowlers behind Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep and Chahal. Another opportunity for the likes of Umesh Yadav and Khaleel Ahmed.

POSITIVES FOR WINDIES

Oshane Thomas made waves in first ODI. Image: Windies Cricket/Twitter.

Oshane Thomas made waves in first ODI. Image: Windies Cricket/Twitter.

For the first 55 overs of the opening match, the West Indies did exceedingly well. Shimron Hetmyer cracked a fine century while opener Kieran Powell scored fifty. If they had kept even one more wicket going into the death overs, they would have easily scored 350.

Then with the ball, burly fast bowler Oshane Thomas rattled the Indians with pace touching 150kph. He induced more than a few false shots from Kohli and on another day would have taken at least three wickets in his opening spell. But Kohli and Rohit survived, taking the sting out of the West Indies bowling. The rest of the attack, including the experienced Kemar Roach and skipper Jason Holder couldn’t do much as the chance was gone. When Thomas returned, his pace was right down and it became target practice for India.

Even so, the Windies have a much better account of themselves compared to the Tests and if they can somehow get Rohit and/or Kohli early, the untested Indian middle order will be in for a challenge.

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