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Enablers key to India's success under Kohli

 The Hawk |  2016-10-13 05:47:03.0  0  Comments

Enablers key to India

There are those that make headlines and there are those that help others make headlines. There are those that score goals and others who enable the goal. Sport glorifies the first category and occasionally allows a mention of the second. It is not completely unreasonable because match-winners are rare and must be celebrated, but good teams are aware that without the enablers, there are no goal-scorers. And that is why I was so happy that Virat Kohli took the time to talk about the little performances that helped win the series. The recognition, the limelight, the awards are great motivators but the people that Kohli is talking about don't always get them. When the man of the match award is given, they applaud, they don't walk out because it isn't their name that is being called. Sometimes they are the non-strikers in the partnership holding their end up and allowing the lead player to get the big score. Sometimes they run in on a hot afternoon and give the captain six or seven overs while the main bowlers take a break. But what they do have is respect within the team because they are always trying, and Kohli's statement is a reflection of that. On this occasion, of the three players he named, two won man of the match awards. But on other days, they were there when the captain wanted them. Jadeja took 14 wickets but when he wasn't taking them, when Ashwin was spinning a web at the other end, he was bowling at an economy rate of 2.3. He wasn't letting the game go anywhere and I particularly liked the fact that Ashwin referred to that in a post game interview. Saha gave Kohli two fifties at number eight in Kolkata. He came in at 200 for 6 and delivered 316 in the first innings. In the second, he walked in at 106 for 6 and helped take the score to 263. In fact, India's lower-order has looked particularly robust in this series and that irritates the opposition because they have started thinking of batting when six or seven wickets have fallen. You can see too that Kohli likes Mohammed Shami because he keeps going to him. In India the fast bowler doesn't have to do a lot. He just needs to prise the door open and let the spinners come and finish things. Ashwin got 27 wickets, Shami got 10 but he kept taking stubborn batsmen out. Captains look for intent and that is what Kohli got from Shami, from Jadeja and from Saha. And he did too from Rohit Sharma for whom this was a really good series because he wasn't top of mind. Rohit's extraordinary ability means he is always talked about, always measured against promise and not everyone can handle that. A spell away from the limelight isn't bad and in this series, Rohit was the supporting actor. The box office roles were with Ashwin and Kohli, even with Rahane and quietly, Rohit notched up the runs. I believe these are injections of confidence for him and it is quietly, rather than flamboyantly, that he will become a fine Test cricketer. England will be a sterner test. This result is a good way to face it. � Cricbuzz

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