Kohli, Warner are two good
Considering every sport needs a constant influx of youthful talent, the exceptional batting of Warner and Kohli has been a very pleasing aspect of the tournament
This year's Champions League has been by far the best of the three played. It has not only enhanced the reputation of the tournament but also the T20 game in general and that of a couple of talented young batsmen.
Any game where one player scores a century and another produces a five-wicket haul has to be chock full of cricketing skills. When the two players who produced such high level performances then finish on the losing side it means the match has also been extremely competitive. In the end it's the quality of the contest that decides the future of a game.
The knockout game between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Southern Redbacks had everything you could want in a cricket match, right down to a last ball six to bring victory. There have been times when the naysayers have argued the entertainment quotient at a T20 match overshadows the game.
That is not an accusation cricket should take lightly, as the dancing girls and DJ's will always find another venue to ply their trade. In addition to the nail-biting contests the tournament has produced some incredible individual performances.
Influx of talent
Considering every sport needs a constant influx of youthful talent the exceptional batting of David Warner and Virat Kohli has been a very pleasing aspect of the tournament. With both India and Australia needing to rebuild following devastating losses to England these two players stand out as players with a future. The first thing selectors look for in a young cricketer is skill and then they want to see consistent performances. The latest back-to-back efforts of Warner and Kohli have been impressive.
In scoring consecutive T20 centuries Warner has achieved something that was regarded as almost impossible. Having built his international reputation as a hard-hitting T20 batsman, Warner has matured into a highly skilful player who must be given serious consideration for Australian selection in all forms of the game.
His balance as a batsman is such that he has been able to adapt his play to all circumstances and his stroke range is mostly traditional and becoming more selective. In addition, his fielding is outstanding and at a time when Australia is crying out for young batsmen who are not a liability in the field his credentials are tempting.
Kohli has a lot in common with Warner. He's made his reputation in the shorter forms of the game and he has an enticing stroke range. The fact that he stayed to see the Royal Challengers home to a place in the final after falling just short of being the 'finisher' in his previous knock, is a sign of his maturity. Like Australia, India is crying out for talented young batsmen who can field. Kohli fits that description perfectly and he's making all the right moves to impress knowledgeable selectors.
It would be no surprise to see this pair meet up as opponents again in the near future, only this time it could be representing their respective country and in a longer form of the game. If players like Warner and Kohli can make the jump from short form players to genuine international cricketers it will do even more to enhance the reputation of T20 as a bonafide game rather than excellent entertainment.
T20 is evolving
The T20 game is evolving quickly and some of the innovations seen in the batting, bowling and fielding make for exciting cricket. What is patently clear when you witness a number of exciting contests like we've seen in the Champions League is the game has progressed to the point where it no longer needs gimmicks to attract supporters.
The duty of the officials now is to ensure that T20's reputation as a credible game of cricket is enhanced rather than diminished. It's become obvious that played well, T20 is an exciting game of cricket, rather than an excuse for fans to enjoy a night on the town.