The Rise of Virat Kohli

Cricket has more than a billion fans in India. Right from the childhood we play cricket and enjoy batting the most. Almost everyone loves batsmen and show interest towards them. Sunil Gavaskar, Azharuddin, Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman and the great Sachin Tendulkar have been the best batsmen for India. They have been in our cricket conscience and will continue to do so. Virat Kohli has added a new dimension to that consciousness, he has used his high-levels of fitness to bolster his temperament, talent, and performance and in the process, has changed the way cricket is played in India or in the sub-continent for that matter. He is the perfect batsman with his classic technique and his remarkable fitness which wasn’t stressed upon the players in the previous era. His dedication is on a whole other level. When he first came in, everyone didn’t appreciate him. They called him arrogant and too aggressive. His failure in England was continuously stressed upon. If he scored runs in India then people used to say he cannot score against the swinging ball. This tour shut everyone up. In the first test he scored 200 runs. The third test he again scored 200 runs. People were calling him “Anderson’s Bunny” and yet Anderson hasn’t got him out this series. The failure had taught him many lessons. In the Australian tour he was first handed the test captaincy. From then on there was no looking back for Virat Kohli. He was unstoppable in that 4 match series. For 3 consecutive years he scored more than 1000 runs in ODIs and test matches. He scored 6 double hundreds in two years. Under his captaincy India is number one in tests for 2 years now. He was booed when he first came out to bat at Edgbaston but the English crowd appreciated Kohli’s knocks with a standing ovation. He is that kind of a player who leaves an impact on the field and on you.

People are starting to compare him with Sachin Tendulkar. I think it’s too early for that. Kohli is just 29 and he himself doesn’t like being compared to a man who inspired him to play cricket. Kohli is different than Tendulkar. He is more aggressive and fit than Tendulkar. The amount of cricket that is being played today is more than the previous years. Cricketers are increasingly complaining about tight schedules and excessive workload, which is taking a toll on their desire to performance consistently, but not quite for Virat Kohli: he plays all the three formats for India and does it with equal passion. In addition to that captains and plays IPL for 2 hot summer months. His record of 973 runs in a single IPL season consisted 4 hundreds. One century was scored by him even though he had 7 stitches on his hand. To step on to the field, each and every time with an equal amount of intensity and hunger to perform is what makes Virat Kohli a cut above the rest.

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