Chahal & Kuldeep: The Wolves of Tossing-it-Up Street

In terms of energy burned, meat gained and overall effectiveness of the kill, wolves do best hunting in pairs. We’ve seen quite a lot of lethal examples earlier but the way young Chahal and Kuldeep are keeping the oppositions unchallenged, this is no mercy. Just  a little background. Chahal is the only person to represent India in Chess and Cricket. Chahal is one of only two players in T20 Cricket history to have taken a 6-wicket haul. His wizcraft is totally evident when he holds the white leather in his hands. Kuldeep on the other hand is India’s only Chinaman bowler and is the third bowler for India to take a hat-trick in an ODI after Chetan Sharma and Kapil Dev.

The Indian wrist-spinning duo has humbled and humiliated the Proteas in their own backyard. I agree, ABD and Faf could have shown some resilience but these new-gen spinning duo would have owned them as well.

There’s a great deal of difference between Chahal-Kuldeep and Ashwin-Jaddu or Kumble-Harbhajan. These two youngsters never look to contain, rather their only focus is to toss it up, play it brave, back their instincts and go for wickets; right from ball one.

Kuldeep-Chahal

 

You’d be astonished to know that these two have just played 9 ODIs together and have already established a reputation of being the best in the business. Not to be politically incorrect, they have literally shown the door to the stalwarts like Ashwin and Jadeja in the blues. People and experts say that it’s the new age rotation policy to keep the squad fit but I don’t seem to agree.

One thing which backs them to be fearless is the faith of Virat Kohli, the skipper. When the captain tells you that you will play every game, irrespective of the runs you leak, a bowler’s confidence reaches the pinnacle of self-belief. Kohli, who himself is all about intensity, aggression and delivering things; has imbibed the same grit in the team. Not to forget Dhoni’s mentoring from behind the stumps. Ball by ball you could see him guiding these wristies. With very little time they have spent with Mahi, they’ve listened to his insights, adapted and executed with great precision. They’ve been quick learners.

Another factor, which has helped them thrive, is the support from the quicks. Bumrah and Bhuvi have always given early break-throughs to the team. So, when these spinners come to bowl, the opposition is always one or two down minimum. They don’t have to start from the scratch; which wasn’t the case earlier.

Numbers don’t lie either. Chahal-Kuldeep duo has grabbed 35 wickets together in 9 games at an applauding strike rate of 24.55 with a meager economy rate of 4.75. Working in tandem and complementing each other is an art, which only a few can cherish. If you look at the strike rates of Ashwin-Jadeja and Kumble- Harbhajan, 40.64 and 46.17 tell a different tale. Yuzdeep duo strikes a wicket after every fourth over whereas the others used to do it around the seventh. It is a huge difference, in terms of the denting the morale.

Chahal is a very street-smart cricketer. He doesn’t change his pace that much — varies it from 85 kmph to 95 kmph. He’s skiddish. Kuldeep on the other hand, relies much on his variations of dip and aerial movement. Flighting the ball and putting right on money i.e. the areas where the batters are uncomfortable playing; is his forte. While most wrist-spinners are quicker through the air, the ability to slow it up and generate more turn even on unresponsive tracks has worked in the favour of India’s new-age heroes.

The wrist spinners have changed the dynamics the way modern day battles are fought. Post 2015, the wrist spinners have killed 81 preys at a strike rate of 27 while finger spinners had to work a lot harder.(58 kills at a strike rate of 52).

Chahal and Kuldeep are the batting equivalents of Sehwag & Sir Viv; where the default mode is set to attack. From Richie Benaud, a pioneer wrist spin, to the magical Shane Warne, the flame of wrist spin has found a wick in every generation and the duo is doing their bit with pride and valour.

They might not have the built and physical power but they have fitness, brains and a true grit by their side; which has even the rattled the South African spine and have left them bamboozled. Which one turns, which goes is a googly, which is the top-spinner, which is the flipper; they absolutely have no fucking clue about it.

These two have assassinated the sense of judgment of the South African Team.  As DiCaprio states, successful people are 100% convinced that they are masters of their own destiny, they’re not creatures of circumstance, they create circumstance, if the circumstances around them suck they change them; these two are calculated and fierce gamblers, who are destined to win; on any pitch and any condition.

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Zen and the Art of becoming a Complete Bowler: Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Kumar may not be the most unusual name in the Indian folklore but the UP pacers know it well how to stand out, especially when it comes to swing bowling. Praveen, the impelling right arm bowler from Meerut had earlier demonstrated the world that Indians could also talk the ball, both ways. Before he left into oblivion, his prodigy; Bhuvi was all set to take the world with the storm. Lean, simple, the goodie-good chocolate boy looks had a demon inside, alas! He was more deceptive and lethal as compared to his master.

bhuvaneshwar

Bhuvneshwar entered the batsman dominated world of Indian Cricket and stung in his first over in every format, he ventured into.  He couldn’t have asked for a better debut. The lad was all across the media – print, digital, radio; you name it. The entire nation was frenzied by his bowling skills. Literally, one needs balls of steel to be the talk of the town and provide a ray of hope to 2 billion souls, who’ve been in pursuit of finding a name, they could chant; who could make the batsmen’s timbers grovel.

One simply doesn’t dismiss the God of Indian cricket on a golden duck unless his name is Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

I think all this was enough for him to stamp authority.

Within no time he was spearheading the Indian attack. He did justice to his stature on greener tracks and chipped in with valuable contributions with the bat. He was great to open, the captains also showed faith but lack of pace & stamina made him leak runs at the death. He struggled to put the balls in the block hole and ended up serving juicy half-vollies. Eventually, if you could negate him at the start, he became too predictable later on. Weak shoulders didn’t allow him either to hit the deck and shock the batsmen with an odd bouncer. Within no time, he joined the league of Mohit Sharmas and other nobodies of Indian medium pace Dept.

Fame and the dream to continue playing for India looked like a mirage as he was shuffled in and out of the squad. Then he started working on his pace, rather than improvising his strengths. He was left into no man’s land just like Irfan Pathan. His mojo was gone. The pace was a notch higher but ineffective. Gloom was the exact word written on his fate.

But God has its own way of putting things into perspective when you refuse to bow down. Luckily Sunrisers Hyderabad happened. He became the cog of the unit; regained his lost confidence. Started bowling at the death along with Mustafizur and did wonders for the team and helped the team win the title as well. This paved his way to the Indian team. Bumrah pairs him in the limited overs and Shami with the red cherry.

His innate ability to swing the bowl into the right handers outside the sub-continent makes him the mvp of this young gen team India. He has become a thinking bowler and contrary to bowling as per the batsman’s reputation, he bowls on his strengths and backs himself. With the Nagarkotis and breed steaming at 145 KMPH+, it’ll be challenging for the mainline bowlers to keep upto their best.

Bhuvi has shattered all the stereotypes of a traditional pacer. He doesn’t need a beefy physique, tattooed arms and rash voice to outfox the batters. The transformation from a lethal opening bowler to becoming a complete package (opening, shielding the team at the death with his miser economy rate) has been phenomenal. At times, Bhuvi outnumbers the death specialist, Bumrah too. His yorkers and boundary clogging deliveries at the death speak volumes of his temperament and the zeal to thrive.

I’m sure, Bhuvi will be the guiding force and play a pivotal role in India’s performance in 2018, the year where majority of India’s games are scheduled overseas. He’s expected to be back in the third test against the Proteas where Kohli and team will fight for pride. Since, he no longer depends on any turf, his ability to play and deliver in all conditions makes it a no brainer for any captain to play him in every game, every format.

Winning it the Pablo-Ponting Way !

I’ve just finished watching Narcos and I must admit that there’s something highly intriguing & fascinating about it, that I can’t fathom the fact that it is actually over. For those who haven’t seen it, let me brief you a bit. Narcos is an American crime web television series, which tells the rags to riches story of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, who became a billionaire through the production and distribution of cocaine. Escobar was a bad guy,no doubt! He was responsible for killing of human race via bombings and murders but there’s loads to gain from his management skills and the way he lead his troops is commendable.

Pablo’s character is very strong and the amount of self-belief this guy possesses is something unimaginable. He had three opponents – the Colombian police, the Americans and the other mafias but he always lived on his own terms, managed his business with only a handful of trusted sources and removed everyone that came in the way of his family or work. Pablo is one of my favorite characters on the screen and Ponting had been the same on a Cricketing field. Escobar clearly reminds me of the Punter.

I absolutely loved the show and appreciate every single moment of it. Narcos has been remarkably scripted and there hasn’t been a dull moment,just like Ponting’s career; full of undying winning spirit.

Here’s a quick look at Ponting’s amazing stats –

  • Most International runs by an Australian Batsman – 27,483
  • Most International Centuries by an Australian Batsman and second of all time – 71
  • Second to Graeme Smith for most Test victories as captain – 48
  • Most victories as ODI captain – 165
  • Undefeated as Captain in World Cups games -35 matches

Pablo had been a mass murderer and a drug lord whereas Ponting is one of the greatest players to have ever played the game. It would be unfair to draw parallels but there have been some striking similarities in terms of their leadership and behavioral traits.

Pablo Escobar - Ricky Ponting

Being Ruthless
Ponting embodied everything Australia stands for: toughness and a skilled craftsman, who cared about the baggy green. He stepped over the line many times, but was always dedicated to winning games for his country. Pablo on the similar lines,acted ruthless when his game was at the stake.He didn’t even think twice to bomb an airplane and a Court;simply because he to.Remember the Sydney test? You lie,you cheat,you steal but ultimately you got to win. It’s like a family,do whatever it takes to keep them safe and win at the same time.

Charismatic Leaders
Escobar was very bright in terms of seeking the opportunity and fixing the problems. Cocaine was practically unknown in the US when he started out and when he finished
he was one of the richest men in the world. His men could do anything for him. In terms of organization, originality, and leading with a strategic mindset he should be considered up there with Ponting. Not only did he have 3 consecutive Ashes wins in England under his belt but he made the Aussies invincible across all the formats.

He led from the front, always. In fact,Ponting’s 2003 WC final knock that outclassed India out of the game was so amazing that Indians started to believe that he had a spring in his bat back then.

Street Smart & Intimidating
Pablo could use his tons of money and his fear to get what he always wanted. It’s his ego towards becoming the President that got him killed. Ponting too was quite intimidating at the same time.He considered sledging as a tool to help his team getting a psychological advantage over the opponent. Hayden McGrath Lee Warne were his Gustavo, La Quica, Limon & Blackie. Highly faithful and dangerous resources. Winning 3 consecutive World Cups isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and Ponting did it in style.

The Bandits
Both Pablo & Ponting were rebellions in terms of their technique. You pitch him short, it’ll be pulled off for a six.Also, the way Pablo roams around in his car in Medellin, even though he had a bounty on his head;shows that he backs his instincts to succeed. Ponting always had a plan B in shape just like Pablo, who always had an escape route ready for him in adverse situations.The innings he played in 2005 Ashes, was exceptional. He displayed a magnificent display of his character especially when the greatest of his men no longer existed. Similarly, even though Pablo lost his biggest strength-his cousin Gustavo; he fought hard and won it with pride.

Think Big and Dominate
You dream big and make them come true.Pablo had told himself that he’d a billionaire by 25. He did! Ponting too on similar lines did the unfathomable.Back in January 1999 he was banned for three matches after a nightclub brawl. He slogged hard and the world eventually saw him becoming Test Captain five years later is testament to the guy’s work ethic and dedication to the post he ascended to.Every time he walked to the crease he had fire in his eyes. He had determination, aggression and a great temperament. He had an amazing ability to attack and play shots that you could not set fields to defend against.

A naive boy from Tasmania went onto become the greatest captain of all time. It takes balls of steel to achieve this feat.

Crazy at Different Levels
I mean who wages a war against his own Govt. Ponting too at the same time, wasn’t any less.Be cool, be in control and not only handle fear but induce it to the opposition. That was their mantra. Now, coming to the 2006-07 Ashes series, Ponting was under huge pressure as Australia had conceded the urn to England the previous year. It was a make or break Ashes for Ponting as another defeat could well have meant the end for his term as the captain.But he absorbed the pressure gracefully, lived up to his reputation by leading the team from the front. He instilled fear in the eyes of the opposition by playing fearless Cricket.

He played a belligerent knock of 196 which still goes down in the history books as one of his finest stints ever. Not only it set up the match for an Australian victory but eventually paved way for a 5-0 thrashing of England in that Ashes series.

Summing it up with this quote from Ricky Ponting –Always be fiercely determined and driven to succeed.

Both were proven Punters in their own way. Ultimately,it all boils down to which side are you on. Pablo achieved his fate (got killed) whereas Ponting nurtured his soul into something constructive and is still hailed as a legendary batsman & captain for all the right reasons.

Cheers to the great gamblers.

AB de Villiers : The Howard Roark of Cricketing Fraternity

And then he laughed.

Howard Roark, the protagonist of Ayn Rand’s famous novel The Fountainhead, is a brilliant architect of the modern school, whose bold and innovative designs are a matter of fascination for the larger segments of society; draws uncanny resemblances with AB DeVilliers in many ways.

Just like Roark, ABD is fiercely independent and believes in the merit of his revolutionary designs and has the courage to stand for them in the face of an antagonistic society.His 360 degrees sweeps are no less than the Enright House. The impossible !

He is a brilliant thinker and he acts on his thinking. He is true to his values, to his convictions, to his thinking, to his mind, to his self; exactly the way ABD rose to the occasion while playing a gritty match-saving 220 balls-33 runs knock against Australia. Public opinions do not matter to him. He only believes in staying loyal and challenging himself.

Roark is fully committed to the individualistic approach in each of of his designs, and he takes a laborer’s job in a granite quarry rather than compromising on his work. ABD on such lines, once being too carried away in the glitterati of the perks of this cricketing life promised himself to believe in himself and give every inch of his body to this holy game. He has not looked back ever since then. He has not changed his attacking stroke-play, even being fairly criticized at times and is a proud holder of feats such as the fastest 100 & 150 runs in the limited overs format.

You either succumb to his enigmatic charms or call him a technically flawed, over-rated and overly loved player but the former has been the case pretty much. I guess you ought to watch a game in Chinnaswamy to know his cult following. After Sachin and Kohli, he’s the most loved sport star in India. He never craved for any such prestige but his potential to hit such sky-scraping sixes and the agility to induce such vivacity on the field, makes him the winner; exactly how Roark used to do the magic via his drafting sheets.

Roark is undeterred. He’ll design anything from sky-kissing elevations to hotels to temples to gas stations, so long as he can build in his own way. So is ABD.Be it IPL, the Titans -his provincial club, his national team or the street cricket, he gives his 200% in everything and tries to execute a different game plan, with different stroke-play, just to keep himself going. He’s not afraid to experiment, backs himself and delivers. His drafts his excelling stories with his bat.

Howard was a visionary from his initial days and wanted to stay ahead of his time. So like ABD, the way he went on to represent the Proteas and then owning the game with his sheer class,is something astonishing.

Howard Roark and AB DeVilliers represent to me – Ethical Integrity. It’s just a matter of one World Cup trophy , when ABD gifts himself the Wynand Tower, the last, the tallest and the biggest skyscraper of his career and fades in the overlying success of eternal joy and glory.

IPL 2017 : The best playing XI of all teams.

Amidst the hoo-halla of CCD getting some lame-fame via cockroaches and Baba Yoginath engraving his name in UP through his rock solid speeches, IPL has managed to sneak in.

The big fat boy is just around the corner, all set to bring in some joy to your monotonous life. I mean, it’ll still remain hollow and hopeless but at least it helps you escape those daily soaps which haunt you the moment you step in your house. 8-11 would be fun for a month or two. So, you better enjoy it.

I am honestly clueless about your passion towards entertainment or life in general but anyhow I am going to share my perspective on how the teams might stack up and how magnificent this season could be.

No, I am not a big time critic or any kind of analyst; I am just a great admirer of the sport and I couldn’t restrain myself from imposing my opinion on you. In case you are noob or just want some pointers to be actively involved in office Cricket gossip, here is a holy piece of information lying below. Just go through it.

Ben Stokes was the biggest fish of this IPL Auctions, 14.5 God Damn Crores. Holy money and will play for Pune, Dhoni’s team. No no he isn’t the captain. The management sacked him and told that they wanted someone aggressive, LOLZ. So, they appointed Test #1, Steve Smith as their commander. Strange no. All money and no brains make you a Rahul Gandhi and not to forget their third-class pitch.Not gonna support them at all.

Here is Lalit’s playing Eleven for Pune –

Rahane, Agarwal, Smith(c), Faf, Dhoni(wk),Stokes,Baba Aparajith ,Bhatia,Tahir, Unadkat & Dinda.
This Agarwal is not the sweet wala.Please make a note of it and R Ashwin is out due to Hernia.

Coming to Bangalore. This is the only way of redemption for Vijay Mallya to get rid of his debts. They are the South Africa of IPL, always get choked. Rahul is already ruled out due to the shoulder injury and Kohli is recovering too. After a couple of games, once the team is stabilized, hopefully, they’ll be able to turn their fortunes. I want them to win, just because of Kohli. He deserves it.

Here is Lalit’s playing Eleven for RCB- 

Virat(c), Gayle, Mandeep, ABD, Watson, Jadhav(wk), Sarfaraz,Binny/Negi(depending on conditions), Chahal, Aniket Choudhary and Tymal Mills.

The defending champions, the Biryani people thrive on their bowling. Now, with Bangladesh board banning its players to participate in IPL, fizz would be out of action; but this proves to be a blessing in disguise for the Afghans. Both Nabi & Rashid can feature in the playing XI. Also, the young lad,Siraj gets to spearhead alongside Nehraji.

Here is Lalit’s playing Eleven for Sunrisers Hyderabad-

Warner(c), Dhawan, Williamson, Yuvraj, Hooda, Nabi, Ojha(wk), Rashid Khan,Nehra,Siraj & Bhuvi.

Mumbaikars are beasts when it comes to shredding money and buying the best players. This time, they’ve got the run making Lankan machine – Gunarathne, which would be exciting to see.

Here is Lalit’s playing Eleven for Mumbai Indians-

Rohit(c), Parthiv(wk), Rayudu, Hardik/Krunal Pandya, Pollard, Buttler, Gunarathne, Gowtham, Harbhajan, Malinga and Bumrah.

Delhi has been the most consistent team to have finished at the bottom. Their management had been quite volatile with their decision making in the past. They are the Lalas, who have no knowledge about the game whatsoever. Now, with Dravid on board, and the fact that he encourages young indigenous talent, it is the only positive for them.

Here is Lalit’s playing Eleven for Delhi Daredevils-

Iyer,Billings, Pant,Nair,Sanju(wk),Corey Anderson/Braithwaite, Morris , Jayant,Mishra, Shami and Rabada.

Gujaratis are the smartest people in terms of business. And they’ve been bang on with their strategy of promoting Indian lads, who’ve done well exceptionally in local tournaments and thereby introducing the unknown/unheard factor by spending not too much. Thampy and Nathu Singh would be the key bowlers to watch out for. Sir Jadeja has been advised to exclude himself by the BCCI as Champions Trophy is lined up next.

Here is Lalit’s playing Eleven for Gujarat-

McCullum, Roy/Smith, Raina(c), Karthick(wk),Ishan Kishan, Bravo, Faulkner, Jakati, Thampy, Nathu Singh & Shivil Kaushik.

The only way the almighty can forgive these Bongs for the deadly sin they commit- putting Aalo in Biryani; is that he looks at this balanced KKR side and says wow. It’s flawless and plus they’ve got the chinaman – Kuldeep. The Indian warhorse Umesh has been suggested to take rest for the upcoming CT.

Here is Lalit’s playing Eleven for KKR-

Gambhir(c), Uthappa(wk), Pandey, Lynn, Yusuf, Suryakumar, Chawla, Narine,Boult,Nile & Kuldeep.

I hope the way Sehwag used to bat and how crazily he tweets, this team can have some effect induced from their coach. They are a good solid unit this time with some exceptional hitters in the middle order, and if they play fearlessly they can do great provided Preity Zinta’s love life doesn’t overshadow everything.

Here is Lalit’s playing Eleven for Punjab-

Guptill, Vohra, Saha(wk),Maxwell(c),Morgan,Miller,Gurkeerat,Axar,Natarajan,Sandeep, Mohit/Aaron.

Cheers.I hope this IPL brings in hotter cheerleaders & TV hosts and RCB wins! Happy watching.

My verdict – Top 4 : KKR, SRH, MI and RCB.

It’s always a treat to watch Pakistan play !

Not because my forefathers hailed from Pakistan or Momina sings for Coke Studio Pakistan, I generally love to watch Pakistani Cricket team play. Also, it has got nothing to do with the fact that I love to eat Karachi naans.

Dear reader, being a logical Cricket fan; I like to see this team play. Please do not label me an anti-nationalist.

Here is a point-wise explanation of my feelings –

1. Highly unpredictable.
They work the extreme ways. Either they can go on to win (almost) in the fourth innings by chasing the improbable 400+ in the fourth innings or they lose consecutive Tests by a margin of an innings defeat. In the shorter format of the game too, they have a knack of playing with a zillion heartbeats. In 2007, Misbah almost scooped them the T20 World Cup which left me and my billion brothers peeing in the pants. And recently, on a funny note, they failed to score 2 runs in the final over of a game against the bowling of Maxwell. Heights of craziness! Do you remember their iconic celebrations at Lords’
when almost everyone had written them off ?

pakistani-team-at-lords

2. Raw talent.
It’s all about the raw talent. Neither do they have a proper set-up for promoting the first class level Cricket nor can they play on their home turf. PSL- their indigenous premiere league does push local talents to the limelight but the quantity is very less in terms of impact when compared to a sporting event like IPL .People who eventually make it to the team are primarily raw & naive and they come from non-cricketing backgrounds only on the basis of their talent.

3. Bowlers are their real superstars.
Baring a few batsmen like Hamid Mohammad, Inzaman , Mohammad Yousuf or Younis Khan it has always been the bowlers’ show for Pakistan. Right from Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saqlain Mushtaq or Shoaib Akhtar, it’s their bowlers who have primarily lead from the front and won games for them. Bowlers, I certainly feel are highly under-rated and they don’t get the credit they deserve. For me, it is a great leveler and I enjoy the competition between the bat and the ball when Pakistan is playing. Except the last few games, the pacers- Irfan, Amir, Riaz and Yasir have been phenomenal, that too in all the conditions.

4. Rib-ticking fielding.
Pakistan is one crazy fielding unit. Every time they are on field, comedy of errors is guaranteed. There is no concept of calling for a catch. Right from their former keeper, Kamran Akmal ; everyone loves chaos. Earlier, Inzy used to be the leader of the wolf-pack – right now Wahab Riaz does his part with full perfection.

5. They entertain.
Pakistan has a sublime history with their coaches. From Bob Woolmer’s mysterious demise to the great Mickey Arthur, someone who keeps on embarrassing himself by comparing Paki players with the legends, it’s always fun to have that “what’s next” moment when you see Pakistan play. Ramiz Raja’s commentary is a cherry on the top. He is the worst commentator that I know of. He is so bad that after a certain point, you actually start loving his stupid anecdotes. And don’t forget the fun in their post match presentation ceremonies. InshaAllah, boys played well are the most holiest 4 words ever.

Hope to see more of their games, more of pretty ladies in the stands and yeah watching them lose to India in World Cups is divine.

Cheers!

Kohli always pays his debts !

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 classKohli 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.