Kohli: a perfect second-fiddle innings

He came in when India had lost Gautam Gambhir for 39 in the 24th over. The score was 152/2, so it was a pretty good platform for him to start with.

I don't need to describe the innings, you all (probably) saw it. He's a slow starter, and that part didn't change. He had reached 6 from 16 balls before he got his first boundary, an off-drive off Mahmudullah. That's where he started to get fluent - rotating the strike with ease, getting the boundaries with cover-drives (the best-looking shot there is) against spinners. He didn't hit any boundaries in the batting Powerplay, but instead did the smart thing and passed the strike over to Sehwag, who had already reached his hundred and was looking to explode, but not literally.

Kohli's fifty came from 46 balls, which means that he had scored his last 44 runs from 30 balls. As the partnership grew and India went into the final 10 overs with 400 a possibility, some of us (and me) were probably thinking. "55 from 55? Well done Kohli, but maybe it's time for Pathan or Dhoni." He ended up scoring 45 from the 27 balls he faced in the last 10 overs - not bad for someone who was playing in Sehwag's shadow.

The point I just made up, and which I also just realized I am making so that this article isn't completely pointless, is that Kohli could be great. Not simple adjective great, but great great. He just keeps ticking along, scoring runs while everyone is focused on the more flamboyant players around him. Even as he was set, going towards his hundred, we were probably watching Yusuf Pathan. Remember Dravid? Yeah.

Also, which other batsman would have played the same kind of innings? Not Yuvraj, he would have got out to Mahmudullah in the same over Gambhir got out, or perhaps a while later to Naeem Islam. Not Dhoni, we've all seen his middle-overs batting. Not Yusuf. Maybe Raina, but I prefer classy cover drives to midwicketal hoicks any day. Yep, I just made up a word. Poetic license and all.

Anyway, it's a great start to Kohli's World Cup. He seems to bursting at the seams with runs, and there's no better place to let them out. Having won one World Cup already, he's likely to want more. Um, go forth.