The resurrection of Australian cricket is once again on hold, as the side went down in India in the second ODI, falling short by eight runs.
The collapse of the lower order needs no further explanation. Coming at a crucial moment, those tail enders will probably be dropped in an expression of poetic justice.
On subjective examination, it seems that there is a factor beyond the control of Australia that will lift their boat above the stumps at some future point.
That factor would be the retirement of Captain Virat Kohli.
If the bowler exists in Australia who can keep Kohli from tonning, seemingly every time he steps in the crease, that bowler needs to be found sooner, rather than later.
Kohli made it an even 40 ODI tons. The milestone came at Australia’s expense. Kohli needed just 108 balls and the knock came at an opportune moment, as India appears on the verge of a collapse in Nagpur when Kohli’s 103 gave him his second hundred against Australia this year alone and his seventh from 34 matches with the Baggy Green.
Kohli is going to rewrite the record books to such an extent that may set a mark that will take generations to exceed.
He trails Sachin Tendulkar by just nine tons. Tendulkar needed 463 matches to reach his 49, one short of the 50 milestone.
Kohli has required just 224 matches to reach 40. Rough arithmetic suggests that if he continues his current pace, by the time he plays 448 matches, he can expect to have 80 tons.
His batting exploits elicited praise from none other than Shane Warne, who told reporters, “He’s just a freak … he will probably go down as the greatest one-day player of all time.”
If the pattern continues and Australia cannot manage to avoid a whitewash in Ranchi, Australia will have lost five of their last six with India and Kohli will be cemented as the greatest villain Australia has even known, if is not already confirmed.