Sydney Test: Kohli earns the respect of the Australian public

Australia may be two-up in the series but that doesn't stop India’s new Test captain from continuing to be their tormentor-in-chief with Century No 4

Sydney: As Virat Kohli strode out in Adelaide there was anticipation. In Brisbane, it had turned to expectation. In Melbourne, it was admiration and by the end of Day Three in Sydney it was sheer appreciation.

Virat Kohli celebrates his century against Australia at Sydney yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
Virat Kohli celebrates his century against Australia at Sydney yesterday. Pic/Getty Images 

In the space of seven innings Kohli has earned the respect of the Australian public. They might hate him, boo him, but they have great respect from him.

Over the past month, he has decimated a rampaging terror in Mitchell Johnson, annihilated a spinner in Nathan Lyon on a pitch that had balls exploding like hand grenades out of the rough and destroyed any other challenger that had stood in his way.

But yesterday, here at the Sydney Cricket Ground, he went after the wily old king of the pack. Ryan Harris is Australia best bowler by far. Before Sydney, he was the only member in the Australian bowling to hold Kohli to a strike rate of 41.17. Yesterday, Kohli scored 27 runs against him in 39 balls.

It was a perfect example of Kohli's dominance. He treated Harris with disdain by smashing him for four boundaries in the space of 11 balls. A couple of shots were drives on the rise. They could have ended up in the hands of slips or the gully but Kohli was keen to leave his mark against the leader of the pack.

It is a sign of Kohli's maturity and the development in his batting. After his disastrous tour of England earlier this year, he could have held back on the flourishing cover drives especially early in his innings. But in Melbourne, 25 of his 30 runs were through the off side. Once again yesterday, as Harris the craftsman returned with the second new ball he kept driving him meticulously through the covers.

A couple of the drives were uppish and catchable but instead of holding himself back, Kohli wanted to dominate and stamp his authority even further. Not once did the scars of England reappear in his mind.

"When you think of hitting the ball to the boundary, if you hesitate you will succumb to a mistake," he said in Melbourne.

The positive mind frame has been the key to his success. With each innings, his batting continues to develop. They say only judge a player on his ability to bounce back from a treacherous run. After scoring four hundreds in a series, we can safely say Kohli is heading to the path of greatness.

Day of milestones for Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli yesterday became the highest Indian run getter in a Test series in Australia after notching up an unbeaten 140 in the fourth and final Test of the ongoing series here. He surpassed the earlier record of Rahul Dravid who scored 619 runs from eight innings in the 2003-04 tour of Australia.

The 26-year-old Kohli, who came into this match with an aggregate of 499 runs, has now totalled 639 from seven innings.

Kohli, who struck his fourth ton of the series and 10th overall is now the only cricketer to have scored a century each in his first three innings as captain.

He also became the first Indian batsman after Sunil Gavaskar (in 1971 and 1978-79 versus West Indies) to score four centuries in a Test series.

He also became the first overseas batsman since Herbert Sutcliffe (1924-25) and Walter Hammond (1928-29) to score four hundreds in a Test series in Australia.

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