5 Things that set Indian skipper Virat Kohli a class apart from the rest
Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who is currently regarded as the undoubted best batsman among the current crop of players by cricket pundits and experts all over the world, is certainly one of the greatest of all time to have ever graced the game.
At the age of 30, Kohli is already the proud holder of several records in the cricket books. His everlasting desire to keep improving his game every time he steps out to the field has helped him remain at the top of his game for so many years.
The Indian skipper has established himself as a run machine across all formats of the game and his bewildering numbers in the three formats speak for themselves. The talisman of Indian batting recently leapfrogged his idol Sachin Tendulkar to become the fastest man on the planet to reach 10,000 ODI runs, bettering the icon’s record by an incredible 54 innings.
Kohli has 38 centuries to his name in the 50 over version of the game and averages almost 60 in the format. He also has more than 2000 runs in the shortest version of the game and averages close to 50 in the games he has played in the format so far.
Kohli’s staggering numbers are not only restricted to the shorter formats but extend to the longer format of the game as well. The right-handed batsman has amassed over 6000 runs in the Test format at an average close to 54. The fact that Kohli has achieved all these in less than 10 years of international cricket makes the fans praise his consistency.
Considering his current fitness levels, the 30-year-old looks good enough for at least another 7-8 years of international cricket playing at the highest level. His unthinkable hunger to score runs for himself and win games for his team certainly sets him a class apart from the rest of the modern-day batsmen and establishes him as the best among the current generation players.
Here are 5 things that put the Indian skipper on a different level from the rest:
5. Passion and dedication towards the game
The Indian skipper’s journey with the Indian cricket team began in a one day international against Sri Lanka back in 2008. Virat Kohli was perceived as a future star for Team India right from the very moment when he led the India U-19 team to a World Cup triumph beating South Africa in the final of 2008.
His potential with the bat was never in doubt but his aggressive attitude on the field raised a number of questions from critics and experts on whether he would be the right man to lead the side.
His uncontrolled aggression on the field which was perceived by many as arrogance was no more than his unparalleled passion for the game. His passion for the game is what drives Kohli to better himself every time he steps out to the field.
Kohli’s passion gets reflected on the field every time he gets past a hundred, he is dismissed cheaply, a fielder takes a catch, a batsman is run out or an umpiring decision goes against the team. His passion and dedication towards the game are matched only by a few in present generation cricket.
4. Determination and will to succeed
Virat Kohli’s determination and hunger to score runs for whichever team he plays for is always evident whenever he steps out to the field with the bat in hand. It is his unmatched determination that drives him to come out to the bat with the same intensity every game he plays in and maintain the intensity throughout his innings.
His unparalleled desire to succeed in all conditions even after repeated failures is what had allowed him to score runs across the globe in all the three formats consistently. His steel-like determination certainly lacks any crack and his relentless desire to become the best in the world has made him the person that he is today more than the cricketer himself.
His mindset and determination make him an outright fighter who doesn’t believe in giving up despite all odds.
3. Hard work and commitment towards the game
Virat Kohli was nowhere near the most talented cricketers of his crop when he started playing for India at the highest level. There were several others in India with much better technique than him and having a wider range of shots when he made his international debut for India. But there was something that made him different than the rest and it was his hard work.
His hard work and commitment towards the game made him stand out above the rest. He failed miserably in the Test series against England back in 2014 and his lack of technique against the moving ball left a vast section of critics across the worlds in shock and India’s best batsman was transformed into a flat track bully overnight.
Kohli, however, was not bogged down by the criticism he faced after the disastrous tour and worked even harder on his technical shortcomings. He kept thinking about his game and even sat down to analyse the mistakes he had been making in the tour. He put in the amount of extra effort that was required to rectify his mistakes and bring out the best in him.
Kohli took the horrid tour of England as the biggest learning curve of his career and trained hard day in day out to become the batsman that he is today. It was his eagerness to succeed and prove himself in different conditions that has always kept him pushing for more.
His burning desire to improve his game and learn from his mistakes kept him going in the right direction and has made him an epitome of consistency, across all formats and against each and every opposition in the world.
There was a prominent improvement in technique in his subsequent tours which has allowed him to dominate the best of bowling attacks in their own backyard and produce match-winning performances in different parts of the world.
His batting average in different countries provide further proof of his ruthlessness against every team he has played against, be it at home or overseas.
Virat Kohli’s hard work and commitment towards the game has allowed him to reach the top and become the best in the business. It has however been his discipline that has allowed him to stay at the pinnacle of his powers for a prolonged period of time.
Kohli used to be a spunky, chubby little teenager during the early days of his international career, who used to stay up late during the night and intake a lot of junk food and other stuff. He used to be late for practice sessions and never really concentrated on the physical aspect of the game.
The shocking reality dawned upon him with a prominent dip in his performances and it was after the 2012 IPL when he finally decided that he needed to improve his fitness levels in order to become a top cricketer.
He started going to the gym regularly, taking part actively in practice sessions and even stopped eating that kind of oily and spicy food. He completely transformed his diet and fitness regime to become one of the fittest cricketers the game has ever seen. Kohli continues to be a fitness inspiration for young cricketers across India and his obsession with fitness has paid rich dividends for the team as well.
The cricketers of the current generation, in general, are much fitter than the previous generations with the game having changed by some distance in its physical aspect. Virat Kohli’s constant emphasis on fitness and maintaining a disciplined diet is certainly taking Indian cricket in the right direction as far as the coming years are concerned.
Virat Kohli’s temperament is perhaps the biggest key to his success in all frontiers of the game. Kohli is someone who is never fazed by the context of the game at any point of time and he is second to none in the world when it comes to handling pressure situations.
Kohli always appears to be up to the task whenever it takes to play out the difficult situations and goes about his business in the same manner in which he would have played any other match situation.
His ability to soak in all the pressure on the team during crucial moments and take his team over the line from there itself is what has made him one of the all-time greats.
His playing style which revolves around rotation of strike and running hard between the wickets, trying the convert the ones into twos and the twos into threes when runs are hard to come by, his body language when things are not going properly for the team and his ability to control the game while chasing 300 plus totals speak volumes of his temperament.
He is someone who always puts a price on his wicket and it always takes a good ball to dismiss him. The pressure of living up to the expectations of billions of people every time one steps out to the field, especially in a country like India where cricket is worshipped as a religion is immense and is certainly not a walk in the park for even the greatest ever to play the game.
The Indian skipper, however, handles the pressure better than anyone in the world at the moment and it certainly goes a long way in making him who he is today.
Despite having attained the status of a legend of the game at such an early age, Kohli keeps striving for excellence and tries to bring out the best in him in every outing.
The 30-year-old is currently the full-time captain for India in all the three formats of cricket. He has instilled his winning mentality into the Indian cricket team as well and his hunger and foresight are bound to take the Indian team to a whole new level in the coming years.