– Digjay Patel
Post his tremendous feet of getting the Indian team into the semi-finals of the 2016 World T20 and his 4 scintillating hundreds in the last IPL, most cricket fans would have thought – “This is Kohli at his peak”; “How can anyone get any better from here!”
“Virat Kohli needs to publish his DNA to prove he is human”, tweeted one of the fans.
And the cricketing fraternity too wasn’t far behind in heaping some praise for the maestro:
“Dear Virat Kohli,
Can you please stop making batting look so easy, it’s embarrassing for most other batters in the world” – Aaron Finch.
“There are players who are in form and there is @imVkohli who wins you games again and again!” – Yuvraj Singh.
“Even if they used a marble @imVkohli would still see it as a balloon. #seriousplayer nothing can stop him” – David Warner
“You could say it’s only T20, you could say the bats are clubs, you could say it is all in favour of the batsmen. And you could say, it was perfection” – Harsha Bhogle
He had surprised not just himself but even the regular (read tough) Indian critic – the one who sees just one series of inconsistent cricket as an opportunity to bring on his desperate criticism onboard. That was the last cricketing high that we all experienced through Virat. All that’s history now.
He has managed to pull off another high – this time in Tests. We are now witnessing another intriguing phase of his magnificent career – leading India in Test cricket. Since the inception of his captaincy he has been breaching milestones and registering India in the record books. For Kohli, it’s become more of a routine now. The man has evolved for the better, and repeatedly, in the past several years. He has developed this skill of reading the situation well and changing the pace of his game accordingly. More importantly he understands the expectations of the demanding Indian fans and he’s found a way of fulfilling the same every single time. With already 4 tons (3 double tons) in tests, 3 in ODIs and 4 in T20s, in 2016 alone, he’s set himself a tough benchmark for the coming years.
With all that we know about his achievements so far, let’s try and sum up Kohli in words – I know this will be a futile attempt since the man keeps redefining himself with every new day on the field. Lets give it a shot anyway.
He should be the best student of the game if you consider consistent learning and implementation as a good trait that any student should have.
At the same time he should be the best teacher when it comes to showing the way and leading the team by example, in all situations.
He is showing signs of being a great captain as well. His recent record of being unbeaten in 18 consecutive tests and counting (highest ever for India), that we all know of, is a testament to that promise.
He is an entertainer who can bring the crowd on its feet, be it any format of the game, not just while batting but even while patrolling the field at the boundary ropes.
He is a man with discipline and determination, who doesn’t fear rigour -His undying obsession for staying fit has catapulted him to this list of all time fittest cricketers, the game has ever seen.
He is a monk who can focus on his game for hours and days, as long as the situation demands. Recollect the 1st test against England where he played a crucial match saving innings which ensured that India didn’t lose momentum at the beginning of such an important series.
He is an icon for the youth who inspires them to not just believe in their dreams, but also take meaningful strides and turn them into reality.
He is a man with this electric aura around himself which is distinct and contagious. The entire team has been infected by the ‘Kohli aura’ which is very well reflected in the team’s recent performances. We have seen youngsters like KL Rahul, Jayant Yadav and now Karun Nair step up to the international stage, like its just another domestic match and with this belief that they already belong here. Such is the level of confidence that he’s been able to infuse in these individuals.
And if you’ve read this piece to this point, I’m sure even you must have realised we can’t define Kohli with just words.
He is something that we all can only wish to experience. Right from the ordinary Indian fan who finds solace in getting just a glimpse of the star to the hardworking aspiring cricketer who is waiting for his chance to share the dressing room with him – everyone is waiting for their spell-bounding ‘Kohli experience’. Even the lucky few who succeed to get as close to him, find it difficult to put that experience into words – such is the awe of the ‘legend’ (the conservative ones might still want to read ‘legend in the making’).
The commentators these days fall short of adjectives to describe his performances. With every game Kohli raises the bar just enough to leave them hassling, to put into words the herculean acts they see on the field.
Given the repeated highs that he keeps churning, and at this rapid rate, it would be perfectly normal for anyone to scamper for words, while attempting to chronicle their own ‘Kohli experience’. We all hope he continues to extend and push his boundaries and in the course redefine himself everytime he steps onto the field – like he has always done. And no one shall ever be able to confine him within any realm of words.