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Proving that criticism brings the best out of Virat Kohli 

ANALYST
Feature
390   //    09 Nov 2018, 08:27 IST

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Virat Kohli has been massively criticized by cricket fans and supporters after he gave lashed out at a fan who made disrespectful comments towards Indian cricket, also calling Kohli overrated.

However, this is not the first time Kohli has been criticized for his performances on the field and off the field. As a matter of fact, Kohli has performed even better when he has been surrounded by criticism.

Recently, Kohli tweeted mentioning that trolling was not for him, he'd stick to getting trolled.

Now, let us take a look at some of the instances when Kohli gave a mouth-shutting reply to all the critics against him with the bat in his hand:

First, let us start with the Australia Tests in 2011/12. After Kohli's dismal performances in the first two tests in the series, many concluded that he was unfit for the longest format of the game. Despite all the criticism, MS Dhoni backed Kohli and the rest is history. Kohli scored 44 and 75 runs in WACA Perth when the whole Indian batting line-up surrendered to the Aussie bowlers.

A week later, Kohli notched up his maiden Test century battling against some seriously capable Aussie bowlers, in Adelaide. 23-year-old Kohli ended up being the only centurion and the leading run-scorer for India in that series.

Now, let us come to India's home series against England in 2012. On rank turners, Kohli failed against the likes of Panesar and Swann. Cricket fans started commenting that Kohli was backed by the captain more than he deserved. However, Kohli replied to his critics with a brilliant century against the very same opposition in the 4th Test of that series, which was actually a dead rubber. Kohli scored 103 runs in that match, top-scoring for India.

Who can forget how Kohli replied to his critics after the forgettable England tour? Kohli's last 10 scores in Test cricket before playing the first Test at the Adelaide Oval were 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 4, 9 and 20. Kohli was given the tag of being overhyped after he failed to perform against the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

Phil Hughes passed away a few days before the start of the Brisbane Test and Indian skipper MS Dhoni was injured, meaning that Kohli had to captain India in the first Test. Owing to some consequences, the venue for the first test was swapped with that of the second. The rest is Virat Kohli making his captaincy debut at the Adelaide Oval where he got his first Test ton as a captain.

Aussie speedster Mitchell Johnson was fuming red-hot since the past 12 months and many fans expected the match and the series to be the end of Kohli's Test career. In walked Virat Kohli at the Adelaide Oval when India's score read 111/2. Johnson welcomed Kohli with a fierce bouncer which hit him on his helmet. Within the next few hours, Kohli smashed a superb century on his captaincy debut.

Very few had imagined Kohli plundering Johnson in that innings where he scored 115 and got out pulling one off Johnson. That roar of 'come on' after his century is still existent in the heart and soul of every Kohli fan.

In the same Test, Australia posted 290/5 in their second innings and gave India a target of 364 to chase on Day 5. Most Indian captains would have preferred trying to draw the Test match, but Kohli wasn't amongst them. Although chasing 364 was a hill task for India, Kohli didn't step back.

At one stage, India were reduced to 57/2 and then walked King Kohli who toyed every Aussie bowler on a rank turner. Within the next 3 hours, Kohli became the only Indian captain to score twin centuries on captaincy debut and also the second captain overall. Once Murali Vijay departed, India's floodgates started to open. The same bowlers who sledged Kohli before had seven men on the ropes to stop him from scoring runs.

However, when 61 runs were required in the last 15 overs, Kohli holed out a short ball from Lyon to Marsh at deep mid wicket, after which India collapsed from 303-5 to 316-10. The famous Adelaide Test will forever remain as one of the most memorable clashes in Kohli's career.

Done trolling 4 times.

In the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, Kohli was batting on 84 and Johnson tried to attack Kohli, by aiming a run out at his pads intentionally. Kohli was hit hard and it seemed as if there was a lapse in his concentration. Luckily, Kohli got a life in the next ball after the Aussie keeper missed out on a tough chance.

Australia took the new ball and Johnson used his short ball effectively against Kohli. The field was perfectly set up but Kohli and Rahane were pulling Johnson every time he bowled a short delivery. Kohli scored his highest Test score in SENA countries (169 runs) in that particular match.

India managed to draw the Test and Indian legend Dhoni retired from Test cricket. Johnson didn't play the next test but by then, Kohli had already scored 146 runs in the 160 balls he faced off Johnson at a strike rate of 90 in Tests. Kohli truly dominated the ruthless Johnson at his peak.

Now let us move on to the SCG where he showed his middle finger to the crowd, four years ago, when he misfielded at the boundary and the crowd booed at him. In reply to the boos, Kohli scored a scintillating 147 in that match due to which India drew that test and went down the series 0-2

Similarly, Kohli failed against Johnson in the World Cup semis in 2015 where India eventually lost the match. Everyone blamed Kohli for the heart-breaking loss because if there was any player who could chase 330 against the Aussies, it had to be Kohli.

Now, taking you to 2016 World T20 virtual knockout against the Aussies against whom he failed in the WC Semis 2015. India chased 162 and Kohli alone scored 82* in Mohali. Ravi Ashwin in the post-match conference hailed king Kohli saying that Kohli's 82 was similar to Sachin's desert-storm innings against the Aussies in Sharjah. India progressed to the semis, thanks to one of the greatest T20I knocks ever, from the bat of Kohli.

Likewise, let us talk about the Centurion Test in 2018. Kohli had failed in the first test; critics claimed that the opposition was not Sri Lanka against whom he scored two double centuries in Tests. Even former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag slammed Kohli for dropping Dhawan after his poor performance in the first Test. Viru urged Kohli to drop himself if he fails to put up a big show. As a reply, Kohli scored a magnificent 153 runs, scoring half the team's total.

Finally, shall we talk about Kohli's performance in the England Tests? We all know how Kohli compensated his poor outings versus England in 2014 by emerging as the leading run-scorer in the 5-match Test series in 2018.

Even now, Kohli is being trolled and criticized by most people in social media. It's just a matter of time before Kohli replies back with his bat when he steps on the field versus Australia later this year.

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