He is the toast of the nation. He is the most searched cricketer on internet. He is the most sought after sportsperson for all major brands in India. He is extremely fit and has millions of girls drooling over him. But foremost, he is the best batsmen in the world, by far, at the moment. He is none other than chasemeister Virat Kohli.
Virat is not just an exemplary batsmen but also the perfect role model any budding cricketer can have.
His transformation from a mercurial young new batsman to the mainstay of the Indian batting lineup has been inspirational. His determination and dedication towards improving his game all the time and his hunger to perform, separate him from the other good batsmen of this era. He is the other name of consistency.
Virat Kohli`s career may seem to be ideal now, but it wasn’t that easy a road for him. He had a tremendous launchpad to the senior team, courtesy his captaincy and performance in the victorious U19 world cup campaign in Malaysia in 2008 and his batting exploits for the Delhi Ranji team. He started slow and steady. But just as he started to show promise, he was hit by the stardom and glamour of IPL. He was often found partying more and practicing less. He had begun to go wayward but fortunately some sense prevailed. Virat introspected and came back on track with his grit and hard work.
He has been a true match winner since then and has played some defining knocks for India in all formats of the game, specially chasing. Virat has worked on his game immensely after a disastrous tour of England where he was found wanting against the swinging ball around his off stump. He has tightened his defense and sharpened his strokes and has scored heavily all over the world since that tour.
His batting average in Tests is more than 45, in ODIs he scores at an average of more than 51 and come T20s, his average jumps up to an unrealistic 58 that with a strike rate of close to 136.
This staggering feat has won him fans and critics alike. In fact, this is the main difference between Kohli and other batsmen in T20 cricket. He does not possess the brutal force of Chris Gayle or the innovation and skill of Mr. 360 degrees – AB De Villiers but still scores at more than 135 per 100 balls. Virat does not slog at all. He plays proper cricket strokes. His main scoring shots being the cover drive and the flick to mid wicket. He knows where the gaps are, runs like a gazelle converting ones into twos, outsmarts the bowler with his presence of mind and the sense of the occasion. He is the main batsman of the team, the top order batsman and also plays a self imposed role of the finisher. He loves finishing matches on his own.
Virat is like a breath of fresh air in T20 cricket and the fans just can`t stop loving him enough for winning match after match for India.
And the experts, the critics, just can`t stop thanking him enough for bringing classical cricket back into the 20-20s.