Team India‘s star batter Virat Kohli smashed his 29th Test century on Friday, ending an almost five-year wait for a three-figure mark in an overseas Test. This was also Kohli’s 76th international ton, as the batter inches closer to Sachin Tendulkar’s incredible 100-century record. The right-handed batter had resumed his innings on 87 on Day 2 of the second and final Test against West Indies, and reached his century with a four against Shannon Gabriel.
Among active batters, Kohli has the most centuries in international cricket and is counted by many as part of the ‘Fab-4’ – a name given to four of the best batters in the current generation. England‘s Joe Root, Australia’s Steve Smith, and Kane Williamson of New Zealand are the other batters who make the famed ‘Fab-4’. Over the past few years, the three have been significantly more consistent and Root and Smith, in particular, have made enormous strides in the longest format.
In 2022, Root redefined his game in the longest format as the Ben Stokes-led side adopted a more aggressive approach in their Test batting. Consequently, Root – a naturally conventional batter with a sound technique in whites – didn’t shy away from attempting audacious, aggressive shots. To English fans’ delight, Root didn’t look troubled even with the major change in the gameplay, and the batter remains one of the best in business today.
Root has been the more consistent performer for England in the ongoing Ashes and his batting prompted one of the fans on social media to draw parallels with Virat Kohli; during a YouTube live session hosted by former Pakistan captain Salman Butt, the fan asked if Virat Kohli can adopt to aggressive gameplay as seamlessly as Root. And while Butt did laud Root for his transition, he insisted that Kohli doesn’t “need” to do anything different.
“If all of your friends are doing something and you aren’t, you will eventually pick some habits from them because you’re eventually playing with them. Indian batters, both new and old, like to play the ball on its merit. There would only be one or two players who play very aggressively, whereas England’s culture has become going out-of-the-box. If someone plays defensively, he looks out-of-the-box. It’s opposite in India.
“I don’t think Virat Kohli needs to do anything like that. He’s a much superior player,” Butt said, replying to the fans’ question.
Source: Hindustan Times