Shattered Kohli fumes after shocking runout

 

Shattered is not a strong enough word.

When Virat Kohli was walking off after being run out on Thursday night, Ajinkya Rahane, who was clearly responsible, held up his left hand in a gesture of apology.

Kohli's reaction? Nothing. He simply looked away.

The pain was acute because Kohli is a driven and desperate man on his one night (Test) only tour of Australia.

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You can see it in his eyes in the dug out. You can see it as buzzes around the nets.

But most of all you could see it in his square jawed determination in the middle as he ground Australia down with technical mastery aligned to old fashioned graft.

Kolhi will head home to India for the birth of his first child after this tour is over.

It is a short stay but he tried to play the long game.

He and his team are trying to gas Australia. Runs are important to them but they are trying to make the fast men stay as long in the field as possible in the knowledge that they simply must tire at some stage in the game and certainly the series.

It worked a treat two years ago. Can it work again?

 

Kohli's innings last night was, by his box office standards, a conspicuously inconspicuous knock on a day when nothing came easily for batsmen or bowlers, when off-drives were generally left in the cupboard because batsmen didn't quite trust the deck enough to thunder through the line.

Kohli absorbed rather than attacked the bowlers.

His lofted straight drive over Nathan Lyon's head was one of his most spectacular strokes. He check pulled Mitchell Starc to the rope and whipped the same bowler through mid-wicket for the same result.

 

A pivoting pull off Josh Hazlewood on dusk was one of the shots of the match and left umpire Paul Reiffel scrambling to take evasive action at square leg.

But between times, like so many of the great batsmen, he traded his broadsword for a shovel and got down in the trenches.

There was some chatter between the Australians and Kohli but there was never a sense the captain's emotions were anywhere else but in the serene bubble in which he was floating.

Shane Warne called for Australia to poke the bear but there no random growls to be heard.

Even before he batted yesterday Kohli looked a driven man and looked to be living every ball in the dug out with phantom defence shots.

In the nets he has been like the team's second coach as he rushed to aid teammates with technical issues and throwdowns as soon as his own session finished.

Originally published as Shattered Kohli fumes after shocking runout


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