Virat Kohli- An ode to the greatest of his time.
28th February 2012, the day the World saw a young man on a mission and the people who saw this young man bat that day knew that he wasn’t just any youngster. This boy was destined for greatness, and this boy would go on to achieve things which made him enter the debate of the ‘Greatest Ever. This young man was Virat Kohli.
This piece is just an effort to put the legacy of the man into words, but no comments are enough for what ‘Cheeku’ has achieved. The World got to know what he was made up of when India needed to chase down a target of 320 in 40 overs to stay alive in the Commonwealth Bank Series, and this was a time when anything above 280+ was as safe as you could get. It was in this game Kohli showed glimpses of the ‘Chase Master’, he rotated the strike with immense ease, converting ones into twos, but the spectacle of the innings and, in my opinion, the over that turned a young Delhi boy who was a party animal into THE VIRAT KOHLI was ‘that’ over of Malinga. This was a time when the Sri Lankan superstar was at the peak of his powers and would bowl pinpoint yorkers for fun and did so against VK, but Virat had the answers and took 24 runs off him in that over. Malinga could do nothing but smile in disbelief.
Today India is celebrating #11YearsofViratKohli as Kohli made his Test debut on this day in 2011 against West Indies. He didn’t have a great test debut, but he does boast of a great test career today. Kohli’s greatest test match is probably Adelaide 2014, in which India lost, but Kohli fought with centuries in both innings. In the fourth match of the same series, Kohli was made India’s Test Captain after MSD retired and what started there culminated in India playing the first-ever ICC World Test Championship Final in 2021. Kohli led by example and became India’s most successful test captain and the World’s fourth most successful captain. Kohli and Ravi Shastri realized that India’s away struggles in tests were due to the lack of good fast bowling and started building a pacer-heavy side. By the time both of them left their roles, India boasted of one of the best pace attacks in Test Cricket and became the no.1 Test team in ICC Rankings.
In 2016, Kohli had the best IPL season for a batsman where in he scored 973 runs with seven fifties and four hundreds and helped RCB to the finals. He was named the man of the Tournament in ICC t20 World Cup 2014 and 2016. 2014-16 Kohli, in my opinion, is the greatest batsman of this century with the number of runs and the manner in which he scored them. This was the time when Kohli turned the age-old question of Indian fans, “Sachin hai kya?” to “Kohli hai kya?” Such was the domination of the man.
Kohli was handed the captaincy of all three formats in 2017 after MSD’s shock resignation, and his first big assignment was the Champions Trophy 2017, where India lost the Final to Pakistan. Virat Kohli’s captaincy is an issue where Indian fans get divided, with some considering him a bad captain, but if you would ask us, Kohli’s trophy cabinet as the captain does absolutely no justice to what he did, he didn’t win any major ICC trophy as captain, but he took India to a World Cup semi-final, a Champions Trophy Final and the final of ICC World Test Championship and the losses in these games don’t define him as a captain but how he led India to these games do.
Virat Kohli is that player who is loved equally by all, even if they are Pakistani fans because Virat Kohli isn’t just about India. He is a global superstar who has achieved greatness all over the World and has made fans in every nook and corner of the World.
In this piece, we didn’t talk about a single record that Virat Kohli broke because if we started naming them, this piece would never end. The current slump of form doesn’t do any justice to what Virat has achieved throughout his career, and this slump should remind the World that even the mightiest do fall at some point, but what makes them great is the ability to bounce back, and we can say without any doubt and second thoughts that, VIRAT KOHLI WILL RISE AGAIN.
The man’s class cannot be overstated; his aura precedes him. He is not the next Sachin, but he is the first Virat, and no one can emulate him. No one can become the next Virat Kohli. Even Virat Kohli may be unable to replicate his achievements over the last decade. But we won’t shy away from calling him the Cristiano Ronaldo of cricket; we won’t shy away from saying that he’ll age like fine wine and achieve even more honours and shatter even more records. The World hasn’t seen the last of him yet. There is much more left to his story. The climax is far from near.
On the 11th anniversary of your Test Debut, the World salutes you for everything you have achieved with hope and a prayer that you will achieve much more. Well, there’s one thing we at The Sportsway know, it is that the moment King captures that elusive 100, there’s not gonna be anyone who can tie him down for a good while. What’s your take?