Ahead of the ICC World Test Championship between Australia and India at The Oval, Australian stars were given a task of describing Star India batter Virat Kohli in a few words. India and Australia will take on each other in the WTC final at The Oval from June 7 onwards. This will be India’s second straight successive final in the tournament after 2021. “What the Aussies think of Virat Kohli #WTC23 #cricket #cricketreels,” said an Instagram post from ICC. Australian skipper Pat Cummins described Virat as “Good player. Always up for a fight.” Star batter Steve Smith, who is also part of the ‘Fab Four’ batting stars of the modern era along with Virat, Kane Williamson and Joe Root, described the batter as “Superstar”.
He loves playing against us. He always scores runs against us, hope we can keep him quiet this week,” added Smith.
Opener David Warner described Virat as a player who plays an “Unbelievable cover drive”.
Marnus Labuschagne, one of the exciting up-and-coming batters in the game is also a big admirer of Virat.
“One of the all-time greats. An all-format great. Hopefully not this week (laughs),” he added.
All-rounder Cameron Green said that Virat is the ‘Man of India’.
Pacer Mitchell Starc termed Virat as “skillful backbone of Indian middle-order.”
Virat indeed loves playing against Australia. In 24 Tests against Australia, he has scored 1,979 runs at an average of 48.26, with eight tons and five fifties. His best score is 186. Across all formats against Australia, Virat has played 92 matches, in which he has scored 4,945 runs at an average of 50.97. His best score is 186. He has scored 16 centuries and 24 fifties against Aussies.
Given the form he is in, he will no doubt be a key player in the WTC final for India.
After 2021 and the first half of 2022 which went against Virat’s gigantic standards, the star batter started his redemption arc from Asia Cup 2022. Virat took a break of more than a month from the sport before the tournament. He scored his much-anticipated 71st century in the tournament after over three years.
He finished the tournament as the second-highest run-scorer. He scored 276 runs in five matches at an average of 92.00 in five games, with a century and two fifties.
In the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 later that year, Virat pulled off an innings of a lifetime, scoring 82* against Pakistan in a tense run chase at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. He ended the tournament as the leading run-scorer, scoring 296 runs in six matches at an average of 98.67 and a strike rate of 136.41.
He scored four fifties, with best score of 82*. Kohli started off the year 2023 with an ODI century against Sri Lanka. He continued his brilliant performances in big events, being the second-highest run-scorer, and highest-run scorer for India in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. In four matches, he scored 297 runs at an average of 49.50, with best score of 186.
Virat had a great IPL 2023 season, in 14 matches of IPL 2023, he has scored 639 runs at an average of 53.25 and a strike rate above 139. He has scored two centuries and six fifties this season, with best score of 101*. He is the third-highest run-scorer in the league so far.
In international cricket in 2022, he has scored 724 runs so far in 13 matches, 15 innings at an average of 51.71. He has scored three centuries and a half-century, with the best score of 186.
Since his return to the sport at Asia Cup 2022, Virat has scored 1,596 runs in 38 innings, with five centuries and eight fifties. His runs have come at an average of 53.20.
India’s squad for WTC final: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Ishan Kishan (wk).
Ruturaj Gaikwad, Mukesh Kumar and Suryakumar Yadav have been named as stand-by players for the high-stakes match.
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, David Warner.
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