Sports

Virat Kohli on verge of joining Sachin Tendulkar in ODI elite list

Virat Kohli has not been enjoying a good run of form lately but when the Indian cricket team skipper takes the field against South Africa in the first ODI encounter in Dharamsala, he will be on the verge of claiming a major milestone in ODI cricket. Kohli is currently 133 runs away from completing 12000 runs in ODIs – a feat achieved by five other cricketers including India legend Sachin Tendulkar. The right-hander will become only the second India batsman to achieve this feat and he will also be the fastest as every other batsman has taken more than 300 innings to achieve this feat. Kohli, on the other hand, has played just 239 innings so far.

Kohli managed just 75 runs against New Zealand, and going by his standards the India skipper would be itching to silence his critics, who have raised eyebrows after his statement on ODIs not having context in the current calendar.

Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri has spoken openly about ODIs being least of priority in a World T20 year. But his men can ill-afford to lose another series against an inexperienced South African side which is buoyed after crushing Australia 3-0 in their own den.

Amid the ever-rising danger of Coronavirus and threat of rain once again playing spoilsport, Hardik Pandya’s all-round flamboyance will keep skipper Kohli in a good headspace as he would be desperately trying to forget the 0-3 mauling in the last series in New Zealand.

Pandya last played an ODI against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final in Manchester and his last international game was a T20 against the Proteas in Bengaluru in September last year.

Especially having lost five international games (two Tests included) on trot, the Indian skipper, enduring one of his rarest of rare bad patches in last six years will be keen to buck the trend.

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