In India, Cricket isn’t just a game. It is a bonafide religion. A religion where cricketers are Gods and every victory is a festival.It is the most watched sport on Television in India.With the advent of the internet now, there would be a large number of fans watching cricket live streaming on their mobile phones.
Hindu? Muslim? Sikh? Christian? When it comes to Cricket we are all Indians! It has succeeded in uniting the people of this country like no tragedy and no person ever did. ‘Score Kya Hua’ is, of course, the second most asked question of this country after ‘Oye Extra Pen Hai Kya’. Log Suhagraat baad me manate hain, pehle Sachin ki batting dekhte Hai.(Sorry Paaji yeh zyada ho Gaya)
Sachin Tendulkar retired way back in 2013 and left a huge legacy behind. Since being a 90’s kid and witnessing the epic batting lineup of Sehwag, Dravid, Sachin, Ganguly, Laxman, I would have never thought I would still be that much of a cricket fanatic as I was in my teens.
But then in the words of great Steve Waugh, “I have a 16-year-old son and I have told him – ‘if you need someone as your role model, I think he should be VIRAT KOHLI.’ He should aspire to play”.
Girls already have an orgasm on reading that name(giggles). Virat Kohli is the “Detriot’s Eminem” for the youth of India. 30 ODI centuries in 191 innings, the numbers speak for the champ itself. We tend to get down to comparisons way too soon and way too much. But Kohli has been knocking at the doors for a while now. The comparison isn’t premature anymore.
The moniker of being the Greatest Of All Time in ODI cricket won’t be undeserved for Kohli. From captaining the U-19 Team that won the World Cup to making India No 1 in all the three formats, the journey of this Delhi lad has been a dream come true.
A very unfortunate incident happened with him in 2006 during a Delhi vs Karnataka Ranji game. First, it was icy-cold morning. Second, Batting wasn’t easy, so, the difficulty was at its best. Delhi Ranji team lost their 5 wickets early on, chasing Karnataka’s mammoth first innings total. With half of the side back in the hut on the 2nd day itself, it was an uphill task for the remaining batsmen to save the match. Virat Kohli walked out on the ground and along with teammate Puneet Bist helped reach Delhi 103 at the end of the day’s play. Kohli unbeaten on 40, But Delhi still needed this pair to go a long way.
That night, His World turned upside down. His father Prem Kohli, just 54 years old, passed away. Virat faced an abhorrent choice, whether to attend his father’s funeral or to go and bat and save the match for Delhi. Delhi’s dressing room was aware of the sad news, Chetanya Nanda was informed to pad up as Kohli won’t come to bat. But everybody got stupefied as Kohli entered the dressing room in full cricketing gear. He decided to go in and bat!
An act, which stunned not just his teammates but also his opposition. Delhi boy played for 281 minutes, scored match saving 90 off 238 deliveries. His team was clearly out of trouble, with only 36 runs needed to avoid the follow-on. In his Ranji debut season, putting aside his personal tragedy and saving his team from the jaws of defeat certainly proves his mental strength. Only a person with eccentric fervour and love for what he or she is doing can go ahead and do something so so…remarkable.
For him, life is cricket. India comes above everything. The champ has never looked back ever since. Once Virat Kohli was back in the national side he never had to look back. He performed in every format. But most importantly what he did was never repeating the same errors again. He struggled against the English bowling attack in England. He corrected his stance and went on to score heaps of runs against the Aussies.
We need to understand one thing that we will always make mistakes. Nobody is exempted from it. But make sure you get the hang of your previous mistake and do not make the same one again.
It is easy to talk about Virat Kohli’s attitude. He is young, successful and from Delhi, a city where brassy and audacious is known to go with the former two attributes. If Gautam Gambhir‘s eyes drip intensity and Rahul Dravid‘s stance shows his determination, Kohli’s entire being exudes a rarely seen combination of precision and passion during practice. Kohli’s precision is not the mere cold calculation of doing exactly what is required to be done; it seems so natural it’s almost surreal. He bats with exactitude, he takes catches with delicacy, he does fitness drills with precision, he even gives throwdowns to team-mates with precision. And appears completely natural all the time.
Kohli’s passion is not the uncontrollable childlike enthusiasm of a youngster. He will take several blinders at a point during training and go down with a contorted face full of dismay if he misses even one. There are many on this side who would not even go for such catches in the first place. Kohli gives the conjecture he really wants to be here, doing what he is doing, playing cricket for India and making his country proud.
133 vs Sri Lanka, February 2012, Hobart
It was that night when the world was confirmed that Virat Kohli is no flash in the pan. On an evening at Hobart, Kohli tore apart the Sri Lankan attack with a swashbuckling 133 off just 86 balls. India had to chase a daunting total of 321 in 40 overs and Kohli simply made a mockery of the chase.
Malinga can’t forget that match and neither can I. He has played innings and chased targets for I did which can’t be articulated in words. He is a class apart and he has given some of the world’s best bowlers a pretty good hammering.
The Epitome Of Consistency
He has the methodology, the tactics, the flamboyance, the attitude, the looks, the aggression as well as the muscle; Virat Kohli, in less than 5 years, has become the most reliable and most important batsman of the Indian batting line-up. After Sachin, Sourav and MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli is only the fourth cricketer to score 1000 runs or more for three consecutive calendar years in ODI cricket.
I have to admit I absolutely love AB De Villiers and completely agree he is a freak and just another level of masterpiece but this flamboyant Delhi lad had even De Villiers left in awe. You can’t compare Virat Kohli or for that instance, anyone with Sachin Tendulkar.
In this newfangled era of cricket, Virat Kohli is the best, the most complete the most dominant and one of the most dangerous batsman and would remain until the end of his career. I feel really lucky as I would get to see the whole career of this man in front of me, from the very first ball till his last. He is a true king. A perfect heir to Sachin’s legacy. But then Kings have their own epoch, whereas God is always and forever a God.
The Mr. Chaser
There have been a myriad staggering and prodigious pieces of commentary exalting the flamboyant Virat Kohli, but this one, from Mr. Bhogle‘s rhetoric and grandiloquent arsenal, during the last eve’s presentation ceremony of the Asia Cup, appeased my starving cricketing pangs like none other. As Virat was getting bestowed with yet another accolade for his spectacular performance, Harsha Bhogle prudently remarked,
“THIS MAN SEEMS TO HAVE TARGETS FOR DINNER.”
The brevity and the impact of this impulsive praise is duly commendable.
And to sum up in his own words:
“Fitness is the primary focus of any game. If we strengthen that over a period of six to eight months from now, then it will help us in the coming three-four years. We feel that fitness is an area that we need to improve on, and I feel it is the need of the hour. Bringing minor changes in attitude, in fitness level, in improving our skills, is something we plan to do as a whole unit,” – Virat Kohli.
Virat Kohli isn’t a player, Virat Kohli is an emotion.