The indescribable joy of watching Virat Kohli bat
Sport has the ability to touch the part of our heart that no other art form possibly can. And when it does, the creator of that surreal moment cements his place in our minds forever. The very best of sportsmen have the ability to take us to a plane that other mortals cannot fathom.
To understand what this is all about, witness Sachin Tendulkar play that bewitchingly elegant straight drive, Roger Federer conjure that ethereal single-handed backhand or Lionel Messi produce a free-kick where the ball flirts with the goalkeeper before magically curving away and finding the net. When we witness these moments, our heart skips a beat, our mouth opens wide, and we gape at them in unmitigated awe.
One man who has converted sport into an art form in modern-day cricket is Virat Kohli. In an era where there is an inordinate emphasis on power hitting, Kohli just caresses the ball with a precision that can put a surgeon to shame.
When Kohli at his thrilling best the head is steady, the weight is transferred on either foot with ease, and batting appears to be a mere extension of the limbs. While his countless fans might take immense pride in rattling off the gargantuan numbers and records that he has put together, the real aura of Kohli lies in the simplicity of his batting.
That he is one of the most successful batsmen of the modern era is proof enough that a player dedicated to his craft always succeeds, irrespective of the era he plays in.
In a classic display of ethereal batsmanship, Kohli flattened the South African bowling attack at Pune. Delectable drives, sumptuous square cuts and sublime flicks were on display as Kohli notched up his highest score in Test cricket.
Of course, the records continued to tumble. Kohli became the first Indian batsman to score seven double centuries, the fourth fastest to 7,000 Test runs, and also the second fastest Indian after Sachin Tendulkar to 26 Test hundreds.
But more than that, it was the purity of his batting that enthralled all those who watched him in action. Kohli played the waiting game, but was severe on any loose delivery offered by the South Africans. It was the world’s best batsman at his sublime best, and all that the opposition could do was gape at his mastery.
Kohli is just 30 years old; he still has a lot more battles to fight, and a lot of bowling attacks to tame. And as he takes batting to statistically new peaks never witnessed before, he will continue to offer us a peak into his genius in the form of that splendid cover drive, that whip over mid-wicket and that bewitching straight drive.
There is an indescribable joy that Kohli provides to the viewer. He takes us to places that very few sportsmen have taken us to in the past.
Also see – World Test Championship Schedule