Virat Kohli the new blue eyed boy of Indian cricket has arrived and taken the cricketing world to stand up and take notice. Right from his early days he has been in the news, be it the images of him captaining and leading India to U-19 WC win, his debut against Sri Lanka, his maiden century in Adelaide and much talked about verbal spats with cricketers around the world.
Living up to a typical Delhi boy image he is smart, suave, aggressive and has no qualms in reciprocating back to swear words (pun intended). He truly signifies the young cricketer of today’s era. For the initial few years from 2009-2010 he was struggling to find his place in the Indian squad and it was only in 2011-2012 that he stood out and let the world take notice.
It was the Australian summer in 2011-2012 that changed him and made him a man from a boy. He was the only player from the Indian team to hit a century in that Test series in which India lost miserably 0-4. Carrying his form to the ODIs he played a sublime innings against the Islanders and took Malinga apart in one over hitting him for 24.
In the following year, he carried on with his good form hitting tons and tons of runs in that calendar year. Soon came the moment that the Little Master decided it was time to bid adieu to the game. The cricketing fraternity and people discussed as to whether we will be able to fill the gap left behind by the God of cricket.
Many skeptics suggested that the downfall of Indian cricket had begun. However, Virat Kohli has proved them wrong and has made the No. 4 place his own and performed in home and away test matches with panache. He hit a memorable ton at the Bull Ring (one of the fastest pitches in the world) and also hit another century in the recently concluded New Zealand sojourn.
His batting reminds me of the Sachin of the 90s. He carries the team and finishes the match on his own; something Sachin was unable to do so. Given his credentials and form, the team management has given him the role of vice captain. He also captains the Royal Challengers in the IPL and thus is a potential future captain for the country. Let’s hope and pray he lives up to the billing, stays grounded and remains injury free. If he does so, he will truly be the next Sachin and one of the gems of Indian cricket.