Virat Kohli: The champion who stretches the limits of possibility
He has tamed every bowling attack that he has faced. He seems to be scoring centuries for fun. And at the age of 30, he is already considered one of the greatest batsmen in the history of the game. Virat Kohli has emerged as the monarch in the post Sachin Tendulkar era and is viewed as the heir apparent to the master’s throne.
He has already scored 11520 runs in ODI cricket and is just seven centuries short of overtaking Tendulkar’s tally of ODI centuries. And, in the Test arena too, Kohli is on his way to everlasting greatness. He is the fastest Indian to 25 centuries and already has six double centuries in the longest format of the game.
Now, what sets Virat Kohli apart from the rest? What makes him the champion who stretches the limits of possibility?
The answer to the above is that he is never satisfied with what he achieves. He always looks for the next obstacle to be overcome. And that is exactly what drives champions to succeed.
For Roger Federer, it is not enough to be just a competitor at a Grand Slam. Each time he walks onto the tennis court, he wants to add another title to his already over flowing collection. Likewise with Lionel Messi, with Tiger Woods and Virat Kohli.
For men like the Indian captain, there is no challenge that is insurmountable. He will always look at the challenge in the eye and seek to vanquish it. It is that mindset which allowed him to steer India to an improbable victory over Sri Lanka at Hobart in 2012.
India had to chase down a stiff total of 321 inside 40 overs to stay alive in the tournament. While even the staunchest Indian supporters would have given up, Kohli did not. He bent the situation to his will and scored an ethereal 133*, enabling India to chase down the target in just 36.4 overs.
The same approach helped him conjure a resplendent 183 against arch rivals, Pakistan, functioning as the fulcrum of the Indian batting line up as they hunted down 330 at the 2012 Asia Cup.
Another thing that sets him apart is his ability to rise higher after falling down. The aforementioned attribute allowed Kohli to bury the ghosts of the 2014 England tour.
On the 2014 tour of England, the batsman had aggregated just 134 runs at an average of 13.40. He had gone hard at the ball and James Anderson had exploited that particular weakness. Kohli could not survive the English attack and the moving ball in overcast conditions proved to be his downfall.
However, four years later, the Indian skipper rose like a phoenix and got the better of England's bowling attack. He was willing to subdue his ego and play the waiting game, without worrying about the aesthetic aspect of batting.
More importantly though, he had answers to each question the English bowlers posed. And by the end of the tour, Kohli had aggregated 593 runs, including 2 hundreds and 3 fifties. The one blemish in an otherwise spotless record had been erased and he was the monarch again.
Hence, a combination of these traits allow him to scale peaks that other mortals cannot even dream of, helping him reach heights considered unfathomable by his peers.
Kohli still has plenty of battles to win, a lot of attacks to tame and several peaks to scale. And, he will continue to explore uncharted territories and continue to make us gape at him in awe.
After all, that is what champions do, and there is no doubting that Kohli is one.
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