India’s great victory over Pakistan in an epic run chase of 330 was not very pleasing to the eye as a Pakistani but as a cricket fan it was surely something worth watching.
I’m a little fed up listening to the experts and commentators praising Umar Akmal and calling him ‘The future of Pakistan.’ Rameez Raja once got a bit too emotional and compared him with Inzamam-ul-Haq which I’m not sure would’ve gone down well with Big Inzi bhai.
A glimpse of the future however was to be seen for the Indian team when Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were on the crease. I was forced to compare the maturity and talent of Kohli with our very own Umar ‘Super’ Akmal and the difference was quite noticeable.
Kohli was fluent, flamboyant, stylish, technical and very effective at the same time. He’s the type of player who leaves an impact on the game and that’s what he did that night against Pakistan in the Asia Cup tie.
Akmal however, apparently is in a state of mind of where he sees every innings as an opportunity to please the crowds with extravagant stroke-play with illogical shot selection.
There is a huge difference between Kohli and Akmal when it comes to translating the talent into something of substance.
I’ve always loved the way Sachin Tendulkar bats but the only point of concern which I share with the 95% cricket loving population of the world is that he’s not a match-winner, not a finisher.
Kohli, on the other hand, is proving to be a match-winner and knows how to finish the game for his side. What I fear about this young chap though is that his record for the past two tournaments has been that he’s done all the hard work for his side for winning the most crucial games but for reasons unknown, the Indian side gets knocked out of the tournament.
His brilliant knock at Brisbane versus Sri Lanka in the recently concluded CB Series made sure that India chased down a 300+ total but eventually India could not make it to the finals.
A similar situation was observed when Kohli blasted the Pakistani bowling attack with a scorching innings with the bat only to see India on their way back home after they could not reach the final of the Asia Cup 2012.
Honestly, India and Bangladesh deserved to be in the final as both these sides had beaten seasoned opponents and with great class.
Coming back to Virat Kohli, his record as far as winning matches for his side outclasses that of Sachin (at least in terms of people’s perceptions), however in his case, his centuries are becoming a bad omen not for a single match but for the whole tournament.
This is just the beginning; I just hope that we are not looking at another Tendulkar from India.
Hammad A. Mateen