After the defeat, or ‘thrashing’ India received from England in the 2022 WC semi-finals, fans worldwide were frustrated at another disappointing finish. Here are my honest thoughts for Those Who Care and Run Indian Cricket. An open letter, “Enough is enough.”
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Ranking Virat Kohli’s best innings is no easy task.
With 71 hundreds, 127 fifties, and countless other important knocks out of his 529 international innings, picking the Top 25 is a challenge. As Roman philosopher, Lucius Anneas Seneca is credited of saying,
Kohli’s consistency and the ability to rise to the top from the depth of hardship is what makes him truly great.
The winning moment at the MCG give cricket fans chills. Literal chills. This match reminded us of Virat Kohli’s eternal greatness. No man has been as dominating of a cricket player in all the three formats. Here is our Top 25 ranking of Virat Kohli’s best innings across T20I, ODI, and Test cricket.
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List of Virat Kohli’s Best Innings
All the scorecards and some video highlights are linked for your reference.
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Melbourne, Australia
Context: Melbourne Cricket Ground. 90,000 crowd. India 31-4. Pakistan pacers all over India. The ghost of 2021. The 71st hundred wait. Questions on his form. Mental health break. And then came that innings. Then came that shot—The Shot Heard Around the World.From 31-4 to needing 28 runs in 8 balls to winning the match on the last ball.The chase master is back.The King is back.
Context: A love story begins in Australia. The coming of age for Virat Kohli. Needing to chase 320 in 40 overs, Kohli and co did it in 36.4 overs. Malinga’s figures of 7.4-0-96-1 says it all. The way Kohli handled the pressure, accelerated…this was only the signs to come for the record chaser he was about to become.
Venue: Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali, Chandigarh India
Context: Must-win game. A virtual quarter final. Australia & James Faulkner run into Virat Kohli at his absolute peak. Steady innings to begin with but flourish at the right time. The running, six hitting, and MS Dhoni, this innings had everything.
Context: A glimpse of Virat Kohli, the captain, before he was the official captain. India had never won a Test series in Australia and chasing 364 on Day 5 was unthinkable. Enter Kohli. Centuries in both innings. Aggressive approach. Got India so close, but he was caught on the boundary with sixty runs still to go. India continued their positive approach and collapsed agonizingly short.
5. 119 (181) & 96 (193) vs South Africa, India Tour of South Africa 2013-14
Opposition: South Africa
Venue: New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa
Context: One of the great Test matches of the 2010s. Will always be remembered for the Faf-De Villiers partnership as South Africa almost chasing 438 before the draw was announced eight runs short.However, the game was nicely setup by the dominance of Kohli in both innings.
6. 169 (272) vs Australia, 2013-14 Border Gavaskar Trophy
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia
Context: This match will always be remembered for THAT partnership. Virat Kohli & Ajinkya Rahane smashing Mitchell Johnson’s bouncers. The transition from the Dravid-Tendulkar-Laxman era to the Kohli-Rahane era was complete.
Context: 134 runs in 10 innings. Six single digit scores. 2 ducks. And a Jimmy Anderson. Probably the lowest point in Kohli’s career, technically and mentally. To come back in the next tour, score 593 runs, dominate Anderson, and conquer his inner demons is a life lesson for us all. It all started with this 149 in tough conditions.
Context: Some of the best shots you will ever see. Dancing down the wicket, straight over the bowlers’ head, numerous inside out shots.The series will be remembered for the emergence of Kohli-Rohit duo as the next stars of Indian cricket.
Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Bangladesh
Context: The scorecard doesn’t tell you what we all felt that day. Pakistan 83/10 and India won by 5 wickets. Easy, right? Wrong. Due to the comeback kid, Mohammad Amir. Rohit, Rahaneweregone for ducks. Raina soon followed, India 8/3. Then came Kohli’s masterclass, one full of patience, perseverance, and maturity.
Context: Among his plethora of centuries and fifties, this one is usually forgotten. After 31-2 with both Sehwag & Sachin back in the hut, Kohli & Gambhir’s steady 83-run partnership got India back in the game. Useful, impact knock.
Context: A solid knock. India win against Pakistan via Kohil magic, a theme over the last decade. Better yet, India started the 2015 WC well and went onto play the semi-finals despite dismal preparations.
Context:Things have to begin somewhere, don’t they? Virat’s maiden ODI ton, including a 224-run partnership with Gautam Gambhir. Rescued India in chase of 316 after they were 23-2 after 3.4 overs.A glimpse of greatness for years ahead.
Frequently Asked Questions – Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in Each Format
Other Virat Kohli Content
What is Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in T20I Cricket?
Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in T20I cricket are as follows: 82* (52) vs Pakistan (2022 T20 World Cup), 82*(53) vs Australia (2016 T20 World Cup), 72*(44) (2014 T20 Worl Cup Semi-Final, 89* (47) vs West Indies (2016 T20 World Cup Semi-Final), and 49 (51) vs Pakistan (2016 Asia Cup).
What is Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in T20I Cricket?
Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in ODI cricket are as follows: 133*(86) vs Sri Lanka (2012), 100* (52) vs Australia (2013), 115*(66) vs Australia (2013), 160*(159) vs South Africa (2018), and 183*(146) vs Pakistan (2012).
What is Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in Test Cricket?
Virat Kohli’s Best Innings in Test cricket are as follows: 141 vs Australia (2013), 119 vs South Africa (2013), 169 vs Australia (2013), 149 vs England (2018), and 153 vs South Africa (2018).
The entire list of 360 degree players is as follows:
AB De Villiers
The next generation of cricketers will add to this list, I am sure.
What is a 360 Player?
A 360-degree player is someone who utilizes each and every open area of the cricket ground. Traditionally, cricketers have been trained to play in the V, but due to limited overs cricket, the run scoring areas has expanded.
Suryakumar Yadav has shown that even though he was built with traditional cricket training (as can be seen from those perfect straight drives and classic shots), he has a lot more shots.
What shots of Suryakumar Yadav make him unique?
He has three shots that sets him apart:
The sweep — Most modern day cricketers have the sweep shot, but what sets SKY apart is his range. Due to his beautiful wrist work, he can hit the ball anywhere from Deep Mid Wicket to Deep Square to Fine Leg behind the 45.
The swipe — This swipe shot is something indescribable by the human eye. Most cases, it is used to hit a fast bowler over Square Leg for six. However, as seen in his marvelous 117 (55) vs England in 2022, he utilized this shot to great effect. One shot, in particular, caught my eye. He swiped the ball behind his leg and guided it almost straight behind Jos Buttler’s (WK) head for a one bounce four he
The inside out shot — Another shot that has become a Suryakumar Yadav trademark. This can be employed against both spin and pace. As seen once again during that 117, he has perfected this shot. He hit an inside-out shot behind 3rd man for a majestic boundary!
The Pull — Suryakumar Yadav began his career with a first ball pull over Fine Leg. Usually, boundaries here a bit shorter, and the fact that he can almost choose where to hit it makes him an effective 360 degree player.
And not only can he hit these wristy tricky shots, he can also play the classic straight drives. Another one of his shots that caught my eye during his incredible innings was that straight six with a little dance move. Here is highlights of his innings. If you have watched it once or twice, I request y’all to watch this innings again because it was that good.
Can Suryakumar Yadav Keep It Going?
There is no doubt that Suryakumar Yadav is in the form of his life.
These are just some of the many shots that help SKY cover what was once thought the unreachable areas of the ground. I hope he continues improving and stays in immaculate touch at the international level.
He has had to wait his time, but we have seen his gradual evolution from a finisher at KKR to a complete middle order batter at Mumbai Indians.
Surya did not receive his international cap as early as he should have, but he is making every innings count at the international level. That 117, with 14 fours and 6 sixes was a coming of age for him, and I just hope for the best for him going forward.
Cricket Food For Thought #3: Time for T20 & Test Cricket to Separate?
By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, @BCD 6/10/2022
New Zealand’s first Test against England started on 2nd June, 2022, a Test match in which Trent Boult played right after playing the IPL final on 29th May, 2022 representing the Rajasthan Royals. In fact, New Zealand’s tour of England began much earlier on the 20th May. Two tour matches had already been played before Boult reached the shores of England.
David Miller & Hardik Pandya starred in Gujarat Titans’ road to IPL glory. Ten days later, they were playing for opposing teams when the 5-match India vs South Africa bilateral series began.
This series is going to end on 19th of June. Then, India play in Ireland on the 26th and 28th of June, before they play their Test match against England beginning on the…1st of July.
The situation has reached such a point that a special flight is being arranged for coach Rahul Dravid, Shreyas Iyer, and Rishabh Pant.
Warning For Test Cricket
The World Test Championship, although not perfect, has put some context for Test match cricket. However, with T20 leagues overtaking the yearly calendar and T20 World Cups occurring every two years now, ICC Chairperson Greg Barclay has warned
I have spoken at length about overkill of cricket and T20 leagues, mental health issues many a times before, but radical times demand radical actions.
Today I propose a separation of T20 and Test cricket as sports. Jonny Bairstow might disagree but workload management and overburdening the cricket schedule is about to hit the edge.
Just like football and futsal are treated as different sports, T20 and Test cricket should be classified as separate sports as well. So what should this separation entail?
A player cannot play both T20 and Test formats at any level.
Separate coaches, teams, players, tournaments, and scouts for both sports. So Rahul Dravid should not go fly and coach the Test team.
Separate governing bodies and budgets
Women’s and Men’s Test matches managed under the same administrative body. Similarly women’s & men’s leagues managed under the same body (Men’s/Women’s Hundred, IPL, Big Bash, CPL, etc.)
Instead of distributing budgets, resources, etc. to these two formats, have a separate funding base
Distance the Heart & Mind
We all would love Virat Kohli playing for RCB and India in all formats all the time, but that is no longer possible. I claim, it is no longer necessary either.
When the IPL begun, each franchise had a marquee player (Dravid – RCB, Ganguly – KKR, Laxman – Deccan, Tendulkar – Mumbai, Yuvraj – Punjab, MS Dhoni – CSK). This was to develop a fan base and for continuity.
Fast forward to 2022. No Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli & Rohit Sharma had off years, MSD was good but we only saw glimpses. IPL 2022 was rather about T20 specialists, The Mohsin Khans, Dinesh Karthiks, and Tim Davids.
T20 as a sport has become self-sufficient. Virat Kohli is needed at Ranji, not Royal Challengers.
Instead of franchising County Cricket or looking to forcefully promote Ranji Trophy, high profile players in domestic tournaments will raise the levels of first class/Test cricket, drive finances, and evolve as a sport faster.
Oh and what about ODI cricket? I completely forgot about it!
The number of days it took both Sir Alastair Cook & Joe Root to break the 10,000 run barrier, incidentally the only two English two cricketers to do so. In comparison, it took the great Sachin Tendulkar 31 years & 326 days to breach that mark.
What a moment. 10,000 runs with the same shot as his 100 at Lord’s. Nasser Hussain, as he always does, chose the best possible words to sum it up,
The Tale of Three Legends—Joe Root, Sachin Tendulkar, and Alastair Cook
By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 06/08/2022
What’s better? Since his debut, it has only taken Root 9 years & 171 days to achieve this landmark. In comparison, Jayawardene-Tendulkar-Gavaskar took about 14-15 years after their debuts and Younis-Chanderpaul about 17-18 years (And yes yes, you’re right. Root took 218 innings, Cook took 229, and England play more Tests than anybody else, but that isanother story).
Joe Root is definitely in the prime of his career. There was a time when Root was going to be uprooted from the Fab 4. With Root inability to convert fifties into hundreds, Babar Azam’s glorious entry, Kane Williamson’s prime, & the god-level cricket Steven Smith & Virat Kohli were producing between 2016-2018, surely Root’s status was being questioned.
Post the pandemic, Smith, Kohli, and Williamson’s needles have barely moved, both in terms of runs and hundreds.
Joe Root, on the other hand, has been on a different level. 21 Tests, 41 innings, 9 hundreds, 4 fifties, 56.23 average since January 2021. And these 9 hundreds include 5 daddy hundreds—228, 218, 186, 180*, and 153. The fact that he did this as England’s Test captain, when they only won 1 out of 17 Tests, in conditions such as Sri Lanka, India, West Indies, and Australia makes his run even more unbelievable.
So naturally the question arises. In the prime of his career, relieved of captaincy pressure, with possibly another 5-10 years ahead of him,can Joe Root break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 15,921 Test runs?
Root has left the rest of the Fab Four in his tracks 😲
Cook scored his first hundred at at the age of 21. In the next 7 years, he racked up 25 total. In his prime, his record read:
2009: 3 Tons
Tons in overseas Ashes win & subcontinental hundreds, Cook was at the top of the world. Even though he slowed down after 2013, by the time he climbed the 10K runs mountain, he had already amassed 28 Test centuries. And he was still young.
It looked like he was meant to break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 51 Test hundreds.
But then he didn’t.
He fell short. In fact, very, very short. Not by one, or two, or even 10 hundreds. By 18 hundreds.
Alastair Cook would only score 5 more centuries and retire from international cricket at the age of 33.
In comparison, when Tendulkar was about 31 years & 157 days old, he had 33 centuries already.
However, his form was about to take a dip. Between December 2004 & May 2007, Tendulkar only scored one Test century, a 109 vs Sri Lanka in 2005.
Questions were asked. Retirement calls surrounded the media. He couldn’t seem to go past the nervous nineties in ODI cricket. Tennis elbow injuries, Greg Chappell controversy, 2007 ODI WC horror—you name it, it looked like the end for legend Sachin Tendulkar.
But then Sachin Tendulkar had a second wind (almost as long as other people’s entire career). From 2008-2011, he scored 14 Test centuries. That is 14 hundreds after the age of 35.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Joe Rooooooooooooot needs 5906 more Test runs to equal Tendulkar’s record of 15,921, which is a very long way to go
He’s scored 5912 runs in his last 69 Tests
You could add Trescothick’s entire career to Root’s and it would still be short of Tendulkar’s runs
As Mark Puttick pointed out, Trescothick scored 5825 runs in his entire 76-Test career. Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh’s most prolific Test run-scorer, has scored 5235 runs after 82 Tests and 15 years.
Root needs 5906 more.
He either needs to continue his golden touch for couple more years or needs to have a Tendulkar-esque final phase.
So, Can Joe Root Overtake Sachin Tendulkar’s Test Run Tally?
Cook retired early not because cricket had left him. He retired because he had given his everything to the game and achieved what every aspiring English player would dream of. He might even have been burnt out.
It was just a personal choice. Maybe he just wanted to give back to the roots at Essex. He is still going strong at County Cricket. Currently standing at 72 first class tons and having a stellar season.
Life is nonlinear.
Unlike statistics on a chart, real-life will have its share of twists and turns. There will be bumps on the road. Us armchair critics just jump to conclusions too quickly. No individual can continue to be at the peak of powers infinitely.
Jersey Movie Review HindiBy Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 6/2/2022
After 83 and Kaun Pravin Tambe and Bandon Mein Tha Dum coming soon, another cricket movie hit the screen this year – Jersey.
Remake of the 2019 Telugu movie of the same name, Jersey explores the conflict of a promising cricketer who left the sport early and struggles financially but is inspired to make an improbable comeback due to his son’s wish to buy an official Indian cricket jersey.
Netflix Summary:Ten years after quitting cricket, a gifted but dejected ex-batsman pursues a spot on the national team, hoping to fulfill his son’s wish for a jersey. Netflix Link
Protagonist: Shahid Kapoor as Arjun Talwar
Pankaj Kapoor as coach Baali
Mrunal Thakur as wife Vidya Talwar
Prit Kamani as son Ketan (Kittu) Talwar (grown up)
Ronit Kamra as son Ketain Talwar (young)
Anjum Batra as Arjun’s best friend, Amrit
Directed By: Gowtam Tinnamuri
Release Date: April 22, 2022 (Theatre release, now on Netflix)
Length: 2 hour, 48 minutes
Language: Hindi (English subtitles available)
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Jersey Hindi Movie – Summary
Jersey is a fictional story that revolves around the journey of a domestic cricketer named Arjun Talwar, who plays for Punjab.
The movie begins in present-day with Ketan Talwar, Arjun’s son, narrating his father’s story. The movie pivots back to the 1985-86 Duleep Trophy (North Zone Vs South Zone). Shahid Kapoor enters as Arjun Talwar to bat in the stadium with these phenomenal domestic career stats run as his introduction
The Main Conflict
In the next scene, Arjun slams his fist on a window frame after his coach Baali exclaims that Arjun’s name was removed overnight from the Indian team squad due to a “printing mistake.”
Seemingly due of this internal politics and disappointment, he slams out the door and angrily yells, “I quit cricket.” At the age of 26, he leaves the sport, settles with his wife, and joins the Food Corporation of India.
Next, the movie fast-forwards ten years later to Ketan’s childhood and regularly flashbacks to Arjun’s early life. In the flashback, Arjun is portrayed as charismatic, confident, and one of the best batters in the Ranji system. In his current avatar, Arjun struggles financially, circles lawyers in court case for alleged corruption (although he is honest), is frequently argues with his wife, and generally stays away from society. Even when Baali offers him an assistant coaching position, he refuses.
The Turning Point
All of this changes when his son asks him for an Indian cricket team jersey. When no avenues for funds remain, he decides to participate in a charity match between Punjab and New Zealand. Even though he doesn’t get the money, he scores a 100 against all odds, gains attention of selectors, and regains his will to play cricket.
At the age of 36, he trains hard, excels in training camp, and is selected for Punjab’s Ranji team. He scores centuries after centuries, the team gels wells, and Punjab races towards the final. In the final, Karnataka scores 454/6 declared.
Punjab are reeling at 45/4 when Arjun Talwar comes in. However, this time he departs for a golden duck. Clean bowled. Punjab collapse. For four days, Karnataka is in charge. In the final innings, a draw would mean Karnataka would win. So, Punjab has to go for the win.
47 overs, 352 target, 7.47 target, Punjab needs a miracle. Talwar shift up the order to open. After surviving a brief hostile spell, he piles in the runs and scores another daddy hundred. He brings it down to 36 off 12 balls and 14 needed in 6. In the final ball, he hits the balls towards the boundary, runs a couple of runs and dives.
Punjab win. Movie ends.
Spoiler Alert (you may skip this part if you have not yet seen the movie)
Or does it?
At the end of the movie, Arjun’s life is being felicitated. It turns out that he had arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and the last dive effectively ended his life.
Here is the twist. Arjun already knew about the diagnosis and subsequently quit cricket ten years ago. However, he did not let his friends or family know about his condition.
Throughout the film, it is assumed that he ran away since he could not face his troubles. In reality, he was just safeguarding is family from the pain. Even though he was warned to not play again, he did so for the sake of his son.
Finally in that ceremony, it is revealed that Arjun was, in fact, selected for India’s ODI team after his domestic performances in 1996 and would have played had he lived. That jersey is given to his son and the movie completes full circle.
Jersey Movie Inspirational Quotes
“Should I play or not? Arjun asks his son.
Play papa, play. Play with your whole heart. Whenever you play cricket, you look like a hero to me“his son responds.
With Rafael Nadal’s 14th victory at the Roland Garros, Joe Denly’s century in the Vitality Blast, and Dinesh Karthik & Wriddhiman Saha’s resurgence in IPL 2022, it looks like 36+ sportsmen are the flavor of the season. Arjun’s story is applicable to their careers as well. Even with injuries, ups and down, they just keep on going.
Shahid Kapoor is back with another great performance. Early in his career, he had an image of playing this nice, young polite character. In the last couple of movies (Udta Punjab, Haider, and Kabir Singh), he has played more aggressive roles and tried to change that image. In Jersey though, Shahid has combined the best of both worlds. On the outside, he is portrayed as brash and angry, but his demeanor is one of honesty, kindness, and love.
My favorite part of the movie was the chemistry between Shahid Kapoor and Pankaj Kapoor (real life father), who acted as his coach in this movie. Their relationship is depicted as one of friendship and Talwar’s only family. Pankaj’s acting is outstanding and keeps the story moving with his equally comic and emotional acting.
Special mention to Talwar’s friend group, the younger Kittu, and journalist for playing their roles to perfection.
Jersey Movie Review Hindi: Watch It or Skip It?
Definitely watch this one.
The main storyline that depicts the father-son relationship is done very well. Although the script itself is a bit far-fetched, the acting keeps Jersey going. The cricket scenes are not as realistic as 83, but they are good enough to not detract from the film (think Iqbal-esque screenplay).
Watch it for Shahid Kapoor, Pankaj Kapoor, and the inspirational we can take from a cricketer’s journey in our lives—keep on trying.
Other Cricketers Who Were Forced to Retire Early
James Taylor was diagnosed with ARVC (Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy). He was forced to quit cricket at the age of 26 due to this incurable diagnosis and immediately had a surgery.
He represented England in 7 Tests and 27 ODIs (1-100, 7-50s). His List A career numbers are stellar (136 matches, 9306 runs, 53.11 average, 15-100s, 30-50s). In FC cricket, he racked up 9306 runs, 20-100s, 47-50s at an average of 46.06 as well.
Although not due to heart condition, Raman Lamba passed away on 22nd February,1998 on a cricket ground while playing in a domestic Bangladesh Dhaka Premier League after being hit in the head while fielding.
He played for Delhi and had a stellar first-class record (8776 runs, 31 centuries, 27 fifties, 53.84 average). He scored a couple of triple centuries including a 320 in a Duleep Trophy (1986-87) between North Zone and West Zone.
Lamba represented India in 4 Tests & 6 ODIs, including a Man of the Series performance in an ODI against Australia in 1987.