The name’s Kohli. Virat Kohli.
This 25-year-old star batsman from India is attaining a status similar to the legend of James Bond! Stylish and successful are two adjectives which suit both the eternal James Bond and Virat Kohli.
He’s a real Puma on and off the field, an unmatched finisher, more often than not scripting brilliant chases for this team, akin to the chases often seen in Bond flicks. His off the field life is also as glamorous as Bond – girls swoon over him and he’s currently rumoured to be dating a top Bollywood actress.
Virat Kohli is the complete package of a new age Indian sports star – he’s an achiever on the field and is not shy of flaunting it too. The earlier generation of heroes were more restrained in showing off their achievements on and off the field – you would not have imagined Tendulkar and Dravid or even Dhoni react the way Virat does after scoring a century. But as I said, this is a new age hero we are speaking about and he has his own style!
But personally the most amazing aspect I find about Virat is the ability to be a Bond across generations. If Test Cricket can be likened to the Sean Connery version of Bond and T20 to the Daniel Craig version, Kohli has shown an utter mastery over all formats. And am not even speaking about the Pierce Brosnan version which is the ODI format, where his consistency is mind-boggling.
I had promised myself that this piece will be about Virat without mentioning his staggering numbers being mentioned just because so many versions have been written about them. He’s been compared to Tendulkar and Viv Richards and the rest of the batting greats in limited overs format and he’s not fallen short in any comparison. Isn’t that good enough to write numerically about any batsman? I feel yes!
In the current age where every young achiever wants to live the glamorous life which comes with his success, even if it’s 2 minutes worth of fame – a million twitter followers, an invite to film awards, doing more brand endorsements than others, etc, Virat so wants to stay away from this. His focus is to stay fit and score runs on the field. Rarely will you see him eager to do more brand endorsements or go out and do more events for raking in the money.
At the age of 25, he’s a World Cup medal winner and his team’s best batsman. He’s also the captain of his franchisee team and the captain-in-waiting for team India. Having conquered all batting challenges he’s yet faced in his career, captaincy of the Indian team will be totally different level of challenge for Virat.
Batting wise, he’s raised the bar of excellence for this generation of cricketers, but captaincy has affected many great cricketers before. Two personalities he is often compared to – Tendulkar and Richards have both acknowledged that captaincy made them change their batting styles.
Selfishly as a cricket fan, I don’t really want to see any change in Virat’s cricketing life from what it is right now. He’s got test hundreds in the last 3 series India has played overseas and he’s just won the man of the series award for his brilliant batting in the WT20 2014. I’d much rather have him scoring these runs than seeing him buckle under the captaincy pressure.
Right now Virat is like a monk who enjoys his Ferrari and who is happy in his 2 monasteries – on the pitch and in the gym. My only hope for this young cricketer is that he stays fit – the runs, the women, the awards will continue to roll.