Many sportspersons across the world in various fields have inspired millions through sheer brilliance and consistency. Their performances have been nothing short of a fairytale. Across generations, we have had many special athletes who marked their name in the era they governed.
In this era, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in football have been the Greatest of all times (GOAT). Novak Djokovic has been a class in tennis. Carolina Marin has conquered the world stage in badminton, and Lewis Hamilton has dominated the circuit like nobody in Formula One to name a few. It is true that we as fans have been mesmerised every year looking at these personalities.
Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli is among these very best athletes in the world of sport. He is among these special lot of people who know how to rake in the performances and deliver no matter what the circumstance is. Consistency makes someone a champion and Kohli has shown that time and time again that he is the best in business.
Going by what we have seen in the last couple of years, Kohli’s charisma and character has been a notch above the rest. He knows what he is doing. He is hungry and wants to keep putting in the extra effort. The athlete he is in terms of fitness, is another special attribute. While batting, he runs quickly not only for himself but for batsmen on the other end as well.
He has become a cult figure and a global superstar, who isn’t shy of leading with example. There is no shortage of words in describing the modern day king of cricket. We all know what he offers and its just the things he keeps doing often.
Kohli in a league of his own
Against West Indies in the ongoing Test series, Kohli slammed his 24th Test ton. It was also the 4th of this year, as he continues to assure his presence atop. He became the first India batsman to pass 1,000 Test runs in three consecutive years by hitting 139 as the hosts ruthlessly dominated West Indies on day two of the first Test.
The 29-year-old reached his century off 184 balls, moving above Virender Sehwag (23) to fourth place in the list of most Test hundreds for India. Now he is only behind of Sunil Gavaskar (34), Rahul Dravid (36) and Sachin Tendulkar (51).
Perhaps it is a matter of time we see the Indian captain reach the summit in the manner in which he has been coming out and playing. When India fielded, there was a sense of urge in Kohli, who wanted things to be done quickly. He kept attacking the Windies and got his bowling changes spot on.
He looked as someone very assured of what he wants.
Run-machine Kohli the best in the world
Kohli eventually fell to debutant Sherman Lewis for 139, caught by Devendra Bishoo off a leading edge, and now has 1,018 runs this year. The last two years, he amassed 1,059 and 1,215 runs respectively. This year could be his best as India also play Australia later this year.
Kohli’s three of of the 4 tons this year have come outside the sub-continent. And Australia is a place he loves. The last tour signified his dominance there. When we look at the numbers, only Australia batsmen Matthew Hayden (five) and Steve Smith (four) have surpassed 1,000 Test runs in a calendar year in more consecutive years.
Kohli in the mean time joined England pair Marcus Trescothick and Kevin Pietersen and West Indies’ Brian Lara in achieving this feat in three successive years. More to come from the champion batsman.
Kohli has 17 tons as skipper to show why he loves his job and more the responsibility, the more he feels free. He also notched the record of being the second fastest to 24 tons and the quickest since Sir Donald Bradman.
Kohli took 123 innings to achieve the feat. And Bradman did the same in just 66 innings.
A substantial innings in Rajkot
After putting on a century stand with Ajinkya Rahane, Kohli put on 133 with Pant, who smashed eight fours and four sixes in his 84-ball knock against an inexperienced attack. Kohli’s patience paid dividends and he took the time to settle in and keep batting without any pressure.
The only shot that he played with the ball in the air, was the one he got out for. The rest was a calculative effort. A man of his standards, knows how to go about the business especially in terms of defence and attack. He has this quality of allowing the batsman at the other end to bat freely and in the tempo they desire. We witnessed the same again as both Rahane and Pant played two very different innings.
Also the scoreboard kept ticking along as Kohli is known to be a busy customer on the pitch with an eye for quick runs whenever there is an opportunity. The manner in which he paced his innings, was the standout show.
His heroics on Day 2 allowed him to equal Cheteshwar Pujara in going past 3,000 runs on home soil in terms of innings (53).
Rajkot witnessed a bag full of runs and individual shows, and one man who stayed right atop in this bright sunny day was the enigmatic Kohli.