If there is one thing that Virat Kohli hates more than getting out, it is losing. A fierce competitor, team India’s new captain does not pull punches when it comes to batting and the same is expected when he leads his troops in all formats.
Virat’s captaincy record may have been closely linked with his batting form. Leaving behind the sour memories of England 2014, he has carved out a separate ilk of batsmanship where scoring runs is the norm and losing is but an aberration.
What do you hate most? If you put that question to India’s new limited-overs captain Virat Kohli, the answer will be a resounding – ‘To Lose’.
In 2014 when he led India to the brink of an improbable Test win at Adelaide; the world got a glimpse into the mind of a maverick captain, who did not mind throwing away a chase as long as it was for the right result.
Brimming with promise then, thin on experience but heavy on talent, his brazen attitude with the bat was laced with a kind of maturity that India was hoping to preserve for a very long time. Three years later, he is come to the fore once again, and this time, as India’s captain in all formats.
A look at Virat’s career beyond the plain numbers suggests an invigorating pattern which falls into an upward graph with one career-defining trough in 2014. In a major setback that year, Virat totalled a meager 135 runs in five Tests against England in their backyard.
Kohli, who had already become a star batsman in the limited-overs format, was undone by the sideways movement in the seaming and swinging conditions.
On his return to India, he immediately hit the nets and developed a narrower stance and better judgment outside the off stump. The time he spent correcting the flaws in his game not only transformed him as a batsman but gave him the confidence to come up trumps in alien conditions.
Later that year, Australia bore the brunt of a rejuvenated Kohli, as he amassed a massive 639 runs, the most by an Indian against Australia, at home or away.
Virat Kohli’s tour de force is enhanced by a clear, fearless mind attached to a heart which he unabashedly wears on his sleeve. What makes him a special batsman is his ability to exploit the gamut of textbook shots while dominating formats that seemingly thrive on unconventional stroke-making.
The supple wrists, great hand-eye coordination and immaculate footwork all come together to supply a rich vein of batsmanship. It is almost as if he hacks into the bowler’s mind to attune the line and length to his own liking. And with the reins of the team resting in his hands, Virat’s legend will only flourish and scale new heights of improbability.
As Heath Ledger’s character in the movie, The Dark Knight, nonchalantly remarked- ‘… Madness is like gravity…all it takes is a little push.”
Captaincy was the push, and Virat’s madness is about to take on the world.