Sydney: Praising Indian batting mainstay Virat Kohli, West Indies great Michael Holding said the top-order player's knack of converting starts into three-figure scores shows that he has the makings of a class cricketer. Having represented India in 151 ODIs, Kohli has registered 22 hundreds and 33 fifties at an average of 51.95 - his conversion rate of innings per hundred being 6.5. Holding said that Kohli has justified his talent as a batsman.
"See, Virat Kohli, once he gets runs he keeps going and gets three figures which is what you want from a class batsman. You always look at that as far as the cricketers are concerned," Holding said on ESPNcricinfo's video show 'Matchpoint'. "A lot of batsmen who are coming at 6 and 7 find it difficult to get three figures. But once you come to the wicket between 1 and 4 you should be able to get up there," he added.
A lot has been said about the Indian pace attack in recent times but Mohammed Shami, who picked up four wickets against Pakistan, and his colleagues did silence their critics after bundling the arch-rivals out for 224. Holding was impressed with Shami and Umesh Yadav, who picked up 2 wickets at a crucial juncture to break the Pakistan back. "(Mohammed) Shami in particular bowled beautifully, he had good control, he bowled with good pace. (Umesh) Yadav bowled with good pace as well, I think you could see that, he really put his foot down on the gas," said the former West Indies speedster.
India did well to defend their 300-run target by winning the game by 76 runs and start on a positive note.
Holding was impressed with Mahendra Singh Dhoni's leadership qualities and the way he used his bowlers.
"You have to attack, you have to take wickets. We keep on saying it on these good pitches with the strength of batting that they have got there is no way you are going to defend and prevent them from getting the runs. So you have got to take wickets, and Dhoni was good, he kept on changing his bowlers as well. He didn't just put a bowler from one end and say okay just bowl 5 or 6 overs," said the cricketer-turned-analyst.