Virat Kohli has become synonymous with Indian cricket in the past month. The one man army, it was he who kept the Indian batting alive in the World Cup. He seems to be possessing the Midas touch of late, be it any format of the game, he stamps his authority with ease. He is the most technically sound and an utterly fearless player today. But the best quality about him is he relies on sacred cricketing shots. He is neither a six hitter like Dhoni or Gayle nor does he rely on unconventional, unimaginable shots that AB de Villiers plays in T20/ODI cricket. Many considered these shots to be a necessity to succeed in T20, but Kohli proves them wrong. He has established himself as the best in T20 purely on technique. His cover drives, silken flicks and pull shots are a sight to behold.
Kohli’s unique techniques leaves the opposition frustrated. With the a combination of bat speed and strong flexible wrists Kohli creates extraordinary angles that defeat field placements. What’s inspiring is that Kohli was not born with these abilities, he worked hard for them. He was aware of his shortcomings as a player, he consciously made an effort to recognise them and remove them successfully. It is hard to believe that someone who plays the most exquisite cover drives was once a predominantly onside player. Evolving oneself by removing shortcomings is sign of a player who is destined for greatness and Kohli seems to be in cusp of greatness.
T20 World cup
Even though India didn’t win this world cup, it will remain in the heart of every cricket loving Indian as a happy memory. It was during this world cup that one man wooed even his staunch haters. What he did was beyond magical, pulling of wins for India single-handedly. He gave it all for the team, requested the audience to cheer for the team instead of him, took responsibility for losing his wicket against New Zealand. Long gone are his days of filthily cussing. He has started owning up to his responsibilities as a team member and as a captain.
There are occasions when it sinks slowly into our consciousness that we are watching something special, something that happens rarely, extraordinary and beyond normal human effort and that we are simply lucky to be watching it. Kohli’s knock against Australia in the ‘virtual’ quarter final was precisely that. It was unbelievable. Like a surgeon who dissects his patient meticulously, Kohli dissected the Australian bowlers. He was patient yet aggressive showed perseverance and scads of passion. When India won he fell to his knees, emotionally and physically exhausted, he gave it all he had.
The New Sachin?
Kohli always says Sachin is his hero and he wants to be like him and many have started comparing the two but labelling him as Sachin is wrong, for both of them are unique. We always want to be our heroes, we believe in them, follow them but one day we become a hero ourselves and that is the best tribute we can give to our heroes. Virat Kohli has already become a hero, a hero different from Tendulkar. He now leads a generation that believes in him just like he did in Sachin and that is where the similarity ends. Sachin is God but India is home to many Gods..maybe we are witnessing the rise of a new one.