Dhoni: 'They'll name a stand after Kohli'

India captain M. S. Dhoni praised Virat Kohli's batting after his sixth half-century in nine T20 International innings helped India to a 37-run win in the first Twenty20 against Australia in Adelaide.

Virat Kohli averages 89.14 across all international formats in Adelaide.   -  AP

Virat Kohli has now scored six fifties from his last nine Twenty20 international innings, in a run that stretches back to March 2014. He averages 48.08 in T20Is, almost 10 runs an innings more than anyone else who has played over 30 matches. On Tuesday, Kohli achieved his best score in the format, finishing unbeaten on 90 as India claimed a 37-run victory in the first T20. He appears to have struck some sort of bond with the Adelaide Oval: he made 107 against Pakistan in the World Cup here last year, and has three Test hundreds at the venue.





“I think in Adelaide they’ll be naming a stand after him,” Dhoni joked later. “By the time he ends his career, quite a few Australian grounds will have a stand named after him. He’s batting really well. The important thing is, when he takes the risk of playing a big shot, he calculates it well. It’s easy to play a big shot; everyone can play it. But it’s how you calculate where your strengths are and take risks accordingly that matters. Also, he is someone who looks to score in front of the wicket. Of course he’s a good cutter and puller of the ball also, but at the same time, he looks to hit in front of the wicket and that always gives you more chances of success.”

Dhoni was pleased with Kohli's growth as a cricketer. “He is someone who reads the game also very well. Right from the very start, whenever we had any kind of interaction, he was always looking to improve himself. If you have that kind of curiosity, it helps you become a better cricketer. It’s good when youngsters grab a chance with both hands when they get it. Virat did it really well once he got a chance to bat up the order.”

Aaron Finch, as indeed the rest of Australia, was again left marveling at Kohli's brilliance. “He doesn’t seem to hit it to too many fielders so it doesn’t really matter where you put them,” the Australian captain said. “The way he uses his hands, he is a great player off the front foot and the back foot, and he uses his feet - he is a pretty complete player. When you are looking to restrict his scoring, he is so good with his wrists he can work it into the gaps, and he runs hard and he is always putting pressure back on the bowler. That’s what makes him such a great player.”