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The Class of Virat Kohli

The Class of Virat Kohli

Cricket is a sport that ignites an intense fire of passion and devotion among fans all around the globe. Within this realm of extraordinary talent, Virat Kohli emerges as a towering figure, a true luminary among the contemporary cricketing greats.

With his flawless cricketing prowess, unwavering determination, and exceptional leadership qualities, Kohli has imprinted an indelible legacy on the canvas of cricket. Embark on an emotional journey through the remarkable career of Virat Kohli, paying homage to the monumental milestones that have forever engraved his name in the hallowed pages of cricketing history.

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The Arrival of ‘Cheeku’

Born on November 5, 1988, in Delhi, India, Virat Kohli’s love affair with cricket began at a tender age. His precocious talent was evident from his early days, and he soon became a prominent figure in Delhi’s junior cricket circles. Kohli’s transition from a promising youngster to a formidable cricketer was swift, and he made his First-Class debut at the age of 18 for Delhi.

Mastering The Art of Batting

In the realm of batting, Virat Kohli's technique is a harmonious fusion of classical finesse and contemporary aggression. His graceful cover drives, commanding pulls, and seemingly effortless flicks have cast a spell on cricket aficionados across the globe. What truly distinguishes Kohli is his unrelenting commitment to fitness and his remarkable ability to adapt to various formats, enabling him to flourish in Test matches, One Day Internationals, and the fast-paced world of Twenty20 cricket.

The Chase Master

Virat Kohli is a shrewd reader of the game and an astute judge of the required run rate. He calculates the remaining runs, the balls to be faced, and the number of wickets in hand with exceptional accuracy. This enables him to pace his innings brilliantly.

Kohli is not just a prolific run-scorer but also a calculated risk-taker. He knows when to play sensibly and accumulate runs and when to unleash his aggressive game. He strikes a fine balance between calculated aggression and sensible shot selection, adapting his approach to the situation and the opposition.

Some 80’s are Special

IND vs AUS- ICC WC23

Virat Kohli proved to be the saviour for India in a tightly contested match against Australia. He was gifted a lifeline when India collapsed early, with the scoreboard reading just two for three. This early setback had initially dampened the spirits of the Chennai crowd. It threatened to spoil the opening game for the hosts, who had done a commendable job by limiting Australia to a mere 199 runs on a dry, bare, and turning pitch.

With captain Rohit Sharma, opening partner Ishan Kishan, and Shreyas Iyer all getting out for ducks, the onus fell on Virat Kohli to keep his composure and guide India to victory. The Australian quicks, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood had done an excellent job of dragging their team back into the game with some exceptional bowling.

IND vs PAK- ICC T-20wc-2022

A little jog down the memory lane, which no cricket fan would ever regret. KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma departed early with single-figure scores, a familiar sight reminiscent of their performance against Pakistan last year. Suryakumar Yadav followed a similar pattern, getting out in the teens after hitting a couple of boundaries, mirroring his previous outing against Pakistan last year. It appeared that India was grappling with the challenge of handling a talented bowling attack, much like their struggles against Pakistan in the past.

However, just as he did against Pakistan last year, Virat Kohli stepped up to the plate and scored a crucial half-century. The key difference this time was that his innings proved to be match-winning, underscoring why he deserves to be in the conversation as one of the best white-ball batsmen in the world. While many have bestowed the "best white-ball batter" title upon Jos Buttler, Kohli's proficiency in chasing targets makes him the undisputed master in that domain. His ability to excel under pressure and steer his team to victory solidifies his legacy as a true cricketing legend.

IND vs AUS-ICC T-20 WC2016

In the 2016 Super 10 stage, both India and Australia were struggling to find their form, setting the stage for a do-or-die showdown to secure a spot in the semifinals. The match took place on a challenging Mohali pitch, and Australia managed to set a target of 161 runs.

Virat Kohli, renowned for his ability to shine against the Australians, launched a fearless counter-attack that breathed life into the Indian innings, rescuing them from a precarious position at 49 for three. As the match reached its nail-biting climax, India needed 38 runs off the last three overs. Kohli, a master of his craft, unleashed a breathtaking assault on James Faulkner and Nathan Coulter-Nile, hitting boundaries with exquisite precision and power. He painted the ground with seven spectacular boundaries, igniting the crowd's passions and leaving Australia crushed, their dreams of progressing in the tournament dashed.

The Mohali night witnessed more than just cricket; it became a canvas for raw emotion, as Kohli's exceptional performance not only propelled India to victory but also etched a memorable, heartfelt chapter in the annals of the cricketing world.

A Chase for Greatness

Between 2008 and 2010, Virat Kohli didn't manage to score a century in any international cricket format during his debut year, despite playing five matches and achieving a highest score of 54. His first international century came in 2009 when he scored 107 against Sri Lanka in Kolkata after a couple of half-centuries.

In the period from 2011 to 2013, Kohli's achievements included a century against Bangladesh in Dhaka, his first century outside the subcontinent in Cardiff against England after the World Cup.

The year 2012 was particularly significant for him as he recorded eight centuries, including his maiden Test century in Adelaide against Australia, and two more Test centuries at home against New Zealand and England. In ODIs, he scored his highest individual score of 183 against Pakistan in Dhaka.

From 2014 to 2016, Kohli notched up 19 centuries, establishing himself as a premier batsman globally. He began 2014 with an ODI century against New Zealand in Napier and followed it with a Test century in Wellington. Notably, he had a superb Test series in Australia with three centuries at Adelaide and Melbourne.

The years 2017 and 2018 were exceptional for Kohli, as he scored 22 international centuries, with 10 of them in Test cricket alone. This included a double century against Bangladesh and back-to-back double centuries against Sri Lanka at home.

In 2019, Kohli started the year with a match-winning ODI century against Australia in Adelaide and added two more centuries at home against the same opposition.

In 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and bio-secure bubbles, Kohli couldn't manage to score a century for India.

However, in 2022, he ended his century drought, scoring an unbeaten 122 runs off 61 balls against Afghanistan during an Asia Cup T20I match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

In 2023, Kohli began the year with his 45th ODI century, which was his 73rd international century overall. He scored 113 runs off 87 balls against Sri Lanka at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati. He then scored another century in the third match of the Sri Lanka ODI series at the Greenfield International Stadium. This brought him within three centuries of Sachin Tendulkar's record for the most ODI centuries. Later in the year, he achieved his 77th international century against arch-rivals Pakistan during a Super Four clash in the Asia Cup 2023 at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, scoring an unbeaten 122 off just 94 balls.

As we witness Virat Kohli's incredible journey unfold, we can't help but be moved by his unwavering passion, unmatched dedication, and extraordinary talent. He's not just a cricketing legend but a symbol of inspiration for millions. He is proof that dreams, no matter how audacious, can be achieved through relentless determination and hard work.

In the world of cricket, Virat Kohli stands as a beacon of hope, a testament to the power of dreams, and a reminder that emotions and passion can be the driving force behind achieving greatness. He's not just a cricketer; he's an emotion, an inspiration, a legend.

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Anurag Singh1 Nov 2023

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