Remember when Virat Kohli was a limited overs cricketer?

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Virat Kohli (CC licensed by James Cullen via Flickr)

Nick Hoult wrote the case study we couldn’t be bothered writing in The Telegraph yesterday.

The short version is that between now and England picking their first Test squad to face India in August, Jason Roy will have at most one first-class match in which to make his case for inclusion.

That is one more than most of us have, but significantly fewer than Roy realistically needs. So it isn’t going to happen. And maybe England don’t want it to happen anyway because they’d rather keep him confident and focused on limited overs cricket.

That set of circumstances pretty much sums up our point.

Another time, another place

By the end of 2011, Virat Kohli had eight one-day international hundreds to his name and zero Test hundreds. However, the Test path wasn’t coned off. He wasn’t asked to follow diversion signs taking him back down a more familiar road.

Kohli made his first fifty in his fourth Test and his first hundred in his eighth Test. He then made his first double hundred in his 42nd Test. That was July 2016 and he’s made five more since then.

In the ongoing second Test against South Africa, Kohli made 153 out of 307 in India’s first innings in a match where runs have had an appropriate value.

However things pan out, we don’t feel like you’ll think we’re from a parallel dimension if we suggest that he is now a decidedly handy Test batsman.

Are you seriously comparing Virat Kohli with Jason Roy?

No, we’re just comparing circumstances: the situation faced by Roy and other England white ball cricketers now against a snapshot in time where Virat Kohli was only two-dimensional.

We would quite like for every player to have the time and opportunity to make their case to play all formats of international cricket. You never know what you might be missing out on.


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  1. Jason Roy’s parents cannot have been unaware of the meaning of his surname, and therefore it is inconceivable that they didn’t choose his first name as a deliberate reference to Jason King.

    That’s who he is, inside.

  2. This is where India are at a bit of an advantage to everyone else because of the IPL though – not because the standard is noticably better than anywhere else (I’m not convinced it is), but their players can afford to only play T20 for 8 weeks a year – not just their international megastars, but also their up and coming players. This leaves the international players plenty of time to play ODIs and Tests with a bit of FC cricket in India whenever they fancy, and everyone else pretty much 10 months to play whatever cricket they want.

    On the flip side, England get it worst – the IPL is obviously the one that everyone wants to play in, as one big contract can set you up for life. Cleverly, when that’s on is when the ECB try to shoehorn most of the CC in. By the time the Championship comes back again towards the end of the summer, the Tests are already in full flow. Every other country has a FC calendar that doesnt really clash with the IPL, and if they need a little top up they have that Championship window at the back end of the summer where counties are always looking for an overseas player to do a 6 weeks stint. Apart from the Championship, which other national competitions (FC or List A) allow regular cricket for overseas players?

  3. Just noticed a quote from Jason Roy who has promised to be “very” ruthless for the rest of the ODI series. It puts me in mind of the “pan-fried hen’s” eggs that were on a menu I read the other night.

  4. Quite a player, this Virat lad. In time he may even turn out to be as good as Sachin Tendulkar, one of the finest cricketers India has ever produced.

  5. Speaking of format-crossing gifted batsmen, Sehwag would have been handy in these run chases.

  6. Far be it from me to contradict a hover caption, but I would have plugged for:

    “you put your left leg in, your left leg out, in, out, in, out, shake it all about.”


  7. Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik suffered concussion after being hit on the head by the ball during the one-day international defeat by New Zealand.

    The 35-year-old was not wearing a helmet while batting when he was struck by Colin Munro’s throw in Hamilton.

    Shoaib faced four more balls before being dismissed for six. He did not field as the hosts won by five wickets.”

    After seeing a few incidents in the last few months (I’m thinking in particular of Mushfiqur Rahim last year, who looked in no fit state to continue), I’m starting to wonder if cricket should be bringing in a ‘concussion protocol’, where players who’ve been struck on the head are immediately retired hurt (or replaced by the 12th man) and assessed by a doctor before being allowed to continue. It seems cavalier at best to allow a batsman to carry on having a cricket ball propelled at him at speeds up to 90mph if he may be suffering minor brain damage already.

    Or is this the sort of thing a wishy-washy liberal worrier worries about, while ‘proper cricket’ types laugh and talk about how great it was before the Health and Safety brigade made batsmen wear helmets?

    1. I’ve often wondered this after seeing a batsman reeling from being struck in the head from a bouncer. Surprised that the players’ unions haven’t been more assertive about it tbh.

      1. Given the game’s union was taken over by a BCCI yes man a few years ago, players might be better off putting their faith in Jimmy Hoffa to negotiate on their behalf.

      1. Yep. I remember some of the “Old Guard (TM)” got shirty about him being retired hurt so professionals could assess him and make sure he wasn’t a footnote to the Phil Hughes story.

        Just remember- the kind of people who use the phrase “in my day” are the kind of people who glamourise a past where children died of easily preventable diseases

      2. Interesting that Morgan says in the interview that this was the first time he had concussion – I can believe it is the first time he experienced such severe symptoms (particularly given the bowler, the delivery and the impact) but not that this is the first time he’s been struck on the head/helmet. Isn’t a big part of the risk of ball and contact sports thought to come from the cumulative effect of “micro-traumas”? Not sure that even concussion protocols can do much about that.

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