Virat Kohli: The valiant warrior chasing the greatest cricketers of all time
Another splendid day in Australia for India as Virat Kohli hit another ODI century in Adelaide to help India climb back in the series. Like most greats, Virat Kohli's extraordinary knocks at crucial junctures of the game are not even surprising anymore. Despite his gritty 104, it was MS Dhoni who stayed till the end to win it for India. But the way Virat Kohli is piling up runs and breaking records is a cause of concern for all time greats.
The world of cricket is getting used to his extraordinary consistency and the 104 against Australia in their own den seems very expected and normal. The alarming rate at which Kohli is increasing his already staggering numbers already makes his case to be ranked with the greats of all time. The numbers of this modern day extraterrestrial cricketer is almost inhumane as he is closing on the records of the great Sachin Tendulkar.
While it still remains to be seen whether Virat Kohli will match the sustained success of the Master Blaster, Virat Kohli will soon catch up if he keeps scoring at this rate. It is currently a hot topic in the subcontinent and in the world but Tendulkar is considered as a deity in India for obvious reasons. It would take Virat Kohli some time and consistency to catch up with seemingly unsurpassable amount of runs -18,426 in ODIs as well as 15,921 in Test cricket.
At his best, Kohli is a joy to watch. The way he caress the ball into the boundary lines and refuses to give his wicket away cheaply are the character traits of all time greats. Probably the greatest trait of Virat Kohli is that he knows how to channel an innings - when to fire and when to keep the scoreboard ticking with singles. He resembles a volcano which can burst at any moment and he manages to channel that fire out when his team needs him the most.
But the ways of Sachin Tendulkar and Virat paint two contrasting pictures. While Sachin was calm, composed and answered his rival bowler solely with his batting, Virat is driven by pure passion. He is not afraid to confront and charge a bowler head on and he is concerned with leading his team from the front.
Unlike Sachin, the impact of the batsman Virat while leading has not diminished one bit and he relishes the challenge of taking both the responsibility head on.
The mentality of Virat Kohli reminds of Vivian Richards- consistently more involved with the bowlers. At his best, he is not afraid of anything in the world and even the few and rare failures are not getting in his way. Amidst his essence, Virat is also ruthless and dominates world class bowlers at the biggest stages of the game. He loves climbing mountains as his arrogance plays a pivotal role in maintaining the endless hunger and indomitable will.
Although Virat Kohli is miles behind the inhumane average of the great Sir Don Bradman, he has proven his mettle while facing the toughest of bowlers. For instance, the way he handled James Anderson in England after failing few years back shows that he is not the one to give up.
Virat Kohli is sometimes a one-man army and the fact that he has fans debating over the list of greatest cricketers of all time is a huge achievement considering his age. He still has a lot of obstacles to face with more challenging conditions on his way but if he keeps pushing, Virat will certainly do the unthinkable and keep the debate open forever by etching his name into history books.Published 16 Jan 2019, 03:36 IST