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King Kohli- A Tale of Pride and Prejudice
Jan 27, 2023, 9:00:00 PM

King Kohli- A Tale of Pride and Prejudice

Virat Kohli has never been shy about giving his real and imagined detractors a piece of his mind. He often portrays himself as the victim of his critics, whether to inspire himself or because that is his natural tendency. Although critics were ready to pounce on him at the World T20 in Australia, Kohli proved that "The Virat Story" was not done. During the middle of 2022, Kohli went through a difficult period and decided to take a break from the game, later revealing that he didn't pick up a cricket bat for a full month. Did that really help? 

The Walk to the Throne

When he first made waves, Kohli was the captain of an Under-19 team that won the World Cup. As the Tendulkar era ended, Kohli was slated to take over as India's star batsman, but he had loftier ambitions. He wanted to be the kind of cricketer that the other team would fear. He played every game like it was his last, participated in every contest, and trained hard to maintain his physical and mental prowess. His introduction of endurance tests as a factor for selection altered the norms surrounding fitness in Indian cricket, earning him much praise.

While India has produced many talented cricketers, perhaps none have been as driven as Virat Kohli. To achieve his goals, Kohli channeled Sachin Tendulkar's technical precision and the level of physical fitness typically associated with world-class athletes rather than cricketers. Because of this, Kohli became the era's most reliable run-scorer across all formats, making seemingly impossible chases appear easy while discovering (in his words) "the safest possible approach to score runs."

We recall the acclaim, but can you tell us how this all started? The 86-ball knock in which he began as a brash boy but ended as a man will always be remembered as the innings that made the world notice. After M.S. Dhoni very ignorantly said that India had already been eliminated from the tournament, he laid after the Sri Lankan bowlers. He carted his way to 133* as India chased an implausible total of 321 off 40 overs to stay alive in the tournament.

Crowned King

​​After shining in Australia, Kohli was promoted to deputy captain for the 2012 Asia Cup in Bangladesh. Kohli dominated the competition, scoring 357 runs at an average of 119 to end as the tournament's top batsman. His best ODI century came in the last group stage encounter against Pakistan when he hit 183 off 148 balls.

The 25th test hundred of Kohli's career came on December 16th, 2018, in Perth, Australia, during the 2018-2019 Border Gavaskar Trophy. His knock of 123 gave him his sixth test hundred in Australia, joining Sachin Tendulkar as the only Indian to reach that milestone in Australia. He also surpassed Donald Bradman's previous record of 68 innings to become the fastest Indian to 25 test hundreds (125), which was subsequently broken by Steven Smith in the 2019 Ashes (119 innings). Despite facing a strong Australian bowling attack, Kohli scored one of his best innings in the eyes of many cricket experts and veterans.

The Legacy and the Glory of Slump

Kohli is sometimes called Tendulkar's "successor" due to the similarities between their batting approaches. Ex-cricketers are confident that Kohli will surpass Tendulkar's batting records. ESPN considers him to be among the top ten most well-known athletes worldwide. According to Kohli, Tendulkar was his childhood hero and inspiration, and he "wanted to imitate the shots Tendulkar played and hit sixes the way he used to hit them" Former West Indies great and cricket's most lethal batsman Vivian Richards has said that Kohli is reminiscent of himself. Early in 2015, Australian cricket veteran Dean Jones crowned Kohli "lord of the world cricket," while cricket icon Viv Richards proclaimed Kohli "already legendary" in one-day internationals. Indian analyst Aakash Chopra said, "Sachin had more shots than Virat." While in New York for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour in September 2018, West Indies veteran Brian Lara named Virat Kohli and Joe Root as two of the best batsmen in the world.

India's 2020 trip to New Zealand included not only three One-Day Internationals (ODIs), but also five Twenty-Over Internationals (T20Is), and two Tests. After 12 innings, Kolhi scored 218 runs (in all forms) at an average of 19.81, with his lone fifty coming in the first ODI. For a tour in which he played all formats, this was his fewest runs scored in total. India triumphed in the T20I series 5-0 but was swept in the ODIs and beaten in the Tests.

Rohit Sharma succeeded Kohli as India's ODI captain in December 2021. Sourav Ganguly, president of the BCCI, said afterward that the selectors did not think it was right to have two white ball captains, so Kohli was removed from his position as ODI captain. Ganguly later claimed that the BCCI had instructed Virat to remain in his T20I captaincy. The Indian cricket team toured South Africa for a three-match test series and a three-match one-day international series later in 2021 and early 2022. In the four innings of the test series he participated in, Kohli scored 161 runs, good for an average of 40.25. Due to injuries, he had to miss the second test match of the series.

In February 2022, the West Indian cricket team traveled to India for three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and three Twenty-Over Internationals (T20Is). Kohli reached the 5,000-run mark in One-Day Internationals for India during the series. Out of three innings, he scored 26 runs for an 8.66 batting average.

Virat Kohli 2.0

Virat Kohli returned to his old self in the Asia Cup 2022, hitting 276 runs at an average of 92 and posting his first Twenty20 International century with a score of 122* off 61 balls against Afghanistan. In the presentation following the game, he made the following remarks:

"I've learned a lot in the last two years and a half. In a month, I will be 34 years old. As a result, we can put an end to those vengeful celebrations. People kept telling me I was doing this or that wrong, so I compiled a video collection of my best efforts and noticed that my first few steps and approach to the ball were consistent across all of the clips. I couldn't put my finger on what was different, though; something was happening in my head that I couldn't be quite articulate."

The Pakistan Stint

Kohli scored 82* in the opening game against Pakistan, and his team won by a razor-thin margin. This was the biggest game of the format, and he felt he played his greatest innings. Kohli amassed 296 runs (at an average of 98.66) to end the tournament as the top scorer.

Blazing Lanka, again.

In the first game of the three-match series against Sri Lanka at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Virat Kohli looked in top form while smashing his 45th ODI century and second consecutive ton in the format. He was joined by captain Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, who each hit the fifties to help propel India to a massive 373/7. This was Virat Kohli's second hundred in ODIs after ending a 28-game stint without one.

Virat Kohli has had an imperfectly perfect tale that has everything. Rise to the peak, a downfall, and a fightback. But here’s something that we all can take away from his tale of glory, Virat Kohli is a legend of the game, and with his champion-like attitude, only he can keep the scoreboard ticking while the crowd puts a dent in his performance. One of the greatest in a generation, Virat is responsible for taking his team home and lifting the world cup’23, which thus shall ensure a perfect end to a perfect story.