India's young batsmen need to know when to tone down aggression
Melbourne: There is a fine line between silliness and bravery. It is difficult to differentiate between the two but India’s batting on the last day of the Adelaide Test and the last day in Melbourne yesterday is a perfect example.
Virat Kohli leaves the field on Day Five of the third Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday. Pic/Getty Images.
Led by the exuberant Kohli, India came so close at chasing down a total of 355 in Adelaide. At the conclusion of play, Kohli talked about how the new Team India always wanted to push forward for a win even if it meant a loss was imminent.
In Melbourne yesterday we saw the repercussions of such a brave act as India had to fight gallantly to force a draw. A target of 380 was never going to be achieved and the batsmen continued to bat normally until a sudden rush of blood led to the wickets of KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane.
At the end of play, Dhoni termed some of the shots as ‘loose’ but knowing him, he wanted to imply they were ‘dumb’ given the situation of the match. While Kohli only managed to flick the ball straight to square leg, it was his anxiety and angst that almost got the better of him again in the second innings.
On a couple of occasions, he drove loosely at balls well outside the off-stump immediately after an altercation with Brad Haddin. Then, while engaging in a conversation with Warner from mid-off, Kohli decided to test Warner’s injured right shoulder by taking sharp singles towards him. It nearly led to him being run out not once but twice.
It is fair to test the throwing capacity of a fielder with an injured arm but in a situation that demands calmness and time at the wicket, it encroaches into an act of stupidity. Luckily for Kohli, he had survived.
Rahul should read about the number of batsmen that only got one opportunity in Test cricket and then ended up fading into darkness. His shot in the first innings might be forgiven but in the second innings, it could have cost him a career, or more importantly, India a Test match.
Rahane’s shot was more due to the pitch holding up the ball rather than his instinct but he needs to aware of the match situation. Let the fourth innings be a lesson for the youngsters, especially Kohli, that at times batting along with the mind needs to be tamed.