Virat Kohli’s toughest challenge, both as a batsman and as a captain, starts today

Virat Kohli and his Blue army are all set for a long English tour which kickstarts with the first of the three T20Is at Manchester today. The England team is in a rich vein of form as they clean swept their arch rivals Australia 5-0 in ODIs and also won the lone T20I in June.

Virat Kohli is here to prove a point. The Indian captain had a disastrous outing in 2014 when English spearhead James Anderson made him his bunny. His flawed technique was there for the world to see in his nightmarish tour. He scored just 134 runs in 5 tests at an average of 13.50. He scored 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6 and 20 in 5 tests. ODIs were no different. 0, 40, 1* and 13 were his scores. His only majorĀ  contribution (66) came in the only T20I.

Since then there has been no looking back for the “Run Machine”. Immediately after the English tour he notched up 3 brilliant tonnes in Australia and later piled up 6 double centuries. He has scored 14 Test centuries since the 2014 tour. ODIs are made for Virat. The “Chase Master” has scored 16 ODI centuries since the last English tour.

Virat and his young guns are confident and ready to face the World number one ODI team in their own backyard. Going by the recent pitches that were used in the Australian series, huge scores are expected as both sides are packed with quality batsmen. India is to play 3 T20Is, 3 ODIs and 5 Test matches in this long English summer.

India’s tour of England (2014) :

India started the tour on a brilliant note with a victory at Lords. Ajinkya Rahane and Ishant Sharma both got their names on the honourable Lords’ Board for their 103 and 7/74 respectively. The English team came back strongly winning all the three remaining test matches. James Anderson and Joe Root were the heroes for England in the Test Series. Anderson picked up 25 wickets while Root scored 518 runs. Murli Vijay scored 402 runs for India and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar took 19 wickets.

India turned the tide in the ODIs winning it comprehensively by 3-1. Ajinkya Rahane top scored with 192 runs while Mohammad Shami took 8 wickets in the 5 match ODI series. England clinched the lone T20I by 3 runs.

India’s tour of England (2011) :

India toured England just a couple of months after the historic World Cup victory in 2011. The tour was rather historic for all the wrong reasons. Under MS Dhoni, India couldn’t win a single game across all formats. India lost 4-0 in Tests, 3-0 in ODIs and 1-0 in T20Is. The Wall- Rahul Dravid stood like a rock on the crease scoring 461 runs including 3 outstanding centuries. He was the lone warrior on the tour.

India have last won a Test Series in England in 2007 under the captainship of Rahul Dravid. Virat Kohli has the team to beat the Britishers. Murli Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane have all contributed to India’s recent success. Jasprit Bumrah was brilliant in South Africa, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar has emerged as India’s top bowler and R Ashwin is all class but India’s fortunes will definately rest on the strong and able shoulders of Virat Kohli.