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Virat Kohli: 5 trademark shots that define his prowess in limited-overs cricket

Rohan Raj | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:33 IST

The Indian cricket team, on 27 March, found themselves staring at defeat and an early exit from the ICC World T20, until Virat Kohli came out to bat and did what he does best - deliver under pressure.

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The Delhi southpaw smashed a 51-ball 82 to pull off an almost impossible win against Australia in Mohali. His unbeaten knock did not have the savagery of a Chris Gayle tempest, nor did it boast of the creativity of an AB de Villiers storm. Yet, the knock will take some forgetting, for, his innings included elements that makes it one of the greatest batting efforts in the shortest version of the game.

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One of the most aggressive batsmen in modern-day cricket, the 27-year-old Indian batsman boasts all kinds of shots in his repertoire. An accomplished strokeplayer all round the wicket, Kohli's defensive technique is organised and his timing on the legside is especially silken.

His batting prowess has also instigated the comparisons with the great Sachin Tendulkar, while West Indies legend Viv Richards sees his reflection in the Indian batting sensation. Here's a look some of his trademark shots that define his class and finesse:

The exquisite cover drive

Virat Kohli 1_PTI

Photo: PTI

One of the most exquisite shots associated with Kohli is his effortless drive along the ground, piercing the cover region. The right-hander leans forward and opens the face of his bat to punch the ball past the cover fielders for a valuable boundary.

Though the shot might not appear as destructive as his other shots, but Kohli's cover drive has found a way in the hearts of a million cricket fans across the globe, with many comparing its quality with the renowned straight drives of the great Little Master.

The mighty pull shot

Virat Kohli 2_Photo: Hamish Blair/Getty Images

Photo: Hamish Blair/Getty Images

Cricket has witnessed many international careers flounder because of the inability to handle bouncers. But, not Kohli. The aggressive Delhi lad has developed a liking towards the short deliveries which is clearly visible in his muscular pull shots.

He has got all the time to open his arms while pulling and the courage to take on the fastest bowlers in the world when they dig one in short. Shifting his weight on the backfoot to pull, Kohli has also mastered the art of keeping it in control to pick the gaps to perfection and get the most out of his shot.

The delicate square/late cut

Virat Kohli 3_Photo: Hamish Blair/Getty Images

Photo: Hamish Blair/Getty Images

Apart from using his sheer power to pull the ball, Kohli can also play delicate shots to complement his aggressive brand of cricket. His square cut through the point and third-man region is one of his most sophisticated weapons in all forms of cricket.

Using the depth of his crease, Kohli quickly transfers his weight on the backfoot and swats the ball with an open face of the bat to send it racing past the point fielder towards the boundary. The shot has proved particularly efficient against the turning deliveries outside the off-stump.

The flamboyant inside-out shot

Virat Kohli 4_Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

If the limited-overs cricket has led to the evolution of innovative stroke-making by modern-day cricketers, then the inside-out shot has got to be one of the top finds. The shot allows the batsman to go against the protective field setting of the opposition to earn some valuable runs.

Kohli, with his impeccable technique and an astute mind, plays the inside-out shot to perfection. Moving towards the onside, Kohli thrives on the room while lofting the ball over the infield for some quick runs.

The shot has helped Kohli earn a lot runs against both, the flighted deliveries of the spinners and the pitched up balls by the seamers. Apart from Kohli, the inside-out shot is also one of the key strokes of his teammate Suresh Raina.

The elusive sweep shot

Virat Kohli 5_Photo: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Photo: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Despite boasting the silken flicks and powerful pulls, among others, the one shot missing from the armoury of the Indian batting sensation was the traditional sweep.

After his struggles against the England spinners in 2014, Kohli mastered the art of playing the sweep shot which saw Australian spinner Nathan Lyon on the receiving end in Adelaide during the 2014-15 tour.

During his twin centuries in the match, Kohli negated the spin prowess of Lyon with his newly-acquired sweep shots and it didn't look like it was a shot he had not possessed at the start of his career. Having added the sweep shot in his list of exquisite shots, Kohli no longer allows the bowlers to bowl full onto his pads with the square-leg fielder inside the circle.

First published: 28 March 2016, 19:44 IST
Rohan Raj @ro4an_raj

After a poor stint in gully-cricket quashed his hopes of turning pro, Rohan moved away from the playing field and began criticising those who were still on it. Football eases his mind and watching City paint Manchester blue is his elusive dream. When not talking, thinking or dreaming about sports, Rohan can be found listening to EDM or watching movies. A sports correspondent at Catch News, he has previously worked with Hindustan Times, Daily Bhaskar and India Today.