Virat Kohli thrives on challenges and responsibilities. Unlike a normal human, it’s the adverse situations which bring out the beast in him. Kohli’s ability to lift the bar in the time of need sets him apart from his contemporaries. He’s not one of those who would let things go that easily. If he is being mocked or taken on mentally, he’ll make sure he gives it back. So Tyrion Lannister like, he prefers to pay his debts. And, this time Englishmen were on the receiving end.
On the last English tour, Anderson and company flirted with Kohli’s reputation as a batsman. They made sure he had a miserable tour and dented his prestige by labeling him a mediocre player who’s just been hyped by the Indian media. But, there were some scores to be settled as Kohli never forgets.
Interestingly in the current series, when Anderson, the so non-sportsman took on Kohli with his maladroit comment stating that the home tracks are hiding his flaws, Kohli didn’t stoop low on his standards, didn’t utter a single word and let the scoreboard do the talking as Anderson stood humiliated & helpless when Ashwin ripped apart the English egos today morning to clinch the series 3-0.
Citing another instance, the last time India was at Wankhede, Kohli promised Sachin that it’s time for the young guns to carry the legacy forward as he had already done enough. Kohli stood by his words and instilled a sense of freedom and faith in his team. It not only made everyone up their game but as a collective unit rose India to the numero uno ranking. And, when today India took the victory walk across the Mecca of Indian Cricket, a sense of pride was evident on his face; which said it all.
2016 has been phenomenal for the Indian skipper. Kohli has 5 consecutive Test series win on his name in this calendar year, which is the record for any Indian captain. Also, Virat is just win away from breaking Sunil Gavaskar’s continuous unbeaten streak of 18 games. Most likely, if Cyclone doesn’t interrupt, this feat would be achieved in the Chennai, Ashwin’s home turf. The kind of form Ashwin is in, it’d be fascinating to see how easily he penetrates the British defence.
Virat is someone who knows how to manoeuvre his instincts, depending on the format. Kohli has grown in stature big time. Previously, he had a total of zero double centuries in Tests and no IPL T20 century. By the year end, he has 3 double test tons and 4 daddy centuries in the IPL. He is not someone who is known for his big hitting. He worked on that part and you would be astonished to know that those 4 IPL tons consisted of 24 mammoth sixes whereas these 3 double centuries had just 1 six. This is the level of adaptability he brings into the game.
Kohli is someone who plays from the heart. Just like a well-cooked Hyderabadi Dum Biryani, Kohli takes some time to settle, lives beneath the sheath of aggression and temperament, takes the heat from the charcoal, absorbs the conditions and then shows his aromatic class. Kohli is well aware of his strengths and limitations and plays accordingly. His flicks and cover drives are his rice and tender meat pieces and the elaichis – reverse sweeps are kept out of the vessel.
As an ardent Virat fan, I can eat this Biryani every day!
The best part – he keeps his integrity on his sleeves and gives ample importance to his fitness. He’s been the path bearer for everyone. He is an infection to the squad and is solely responsible for bringing out the aggression in everyone. Looking at the current fielding standards you cannot even say that it’s the same team, who were once the sloppiest of all.
Coming back to paying the debts part; needless to say the way Ben Stokes was sent off in the third Test of the series, I bet anyone would think twice before messing with Kohli and his team. The mum face was a slap on the English autocracy.
Initially, Virat lacked consistency in the longer format and was considered as the weakest among the Fab-4. Kohli, the gladiator took the daunting ask on his head. Slogged hard and at the moment, Kohli averages 50+ in all formats and is being lauded as one of the all-time greats to have ever graced the game.
I’d say, Kohli is beyond records. He is a pinnacle of assurance and self-belief. We need to find new critics for him as the ones who used to find flaws in the loud mouth have started to idolize the champ, including the likes of Chappell brothers and the entire Aussie cricketing fraternity.
Kohli’s unparalleled swag is bringing back the crowd to the stadiums, He is the perfect ambassador of the game one could ever ask for. I just pray he keeps playing with this level of consistency and achieves everything an Indian Cricket fan could ask for.