Virat Kohli is mindful that the golden streak he is enjoying as a batsman and captain could come to an end at any time. And though he hates losing, he knows enough to value it. “Success makes you feel like everything is fine. But failure creates self-doubt, which eventually leads you to understand yourself better. Ninety per cent of what I have learnt, I have learnt from failing.”
None of this means he’s lost the fire; some things can still provoke his rage. Attacks on his girlfriend, for instance. In March this year, he took to Instagram and Twitter to slam trolls for targeting Sharma when India beat Australia in a T20 match (the two were supposedly on a break then). Sharma had been on the receiving end of much online abuse since last year for “distracting” Kohli and was blamed, first for India’s semi-final loss to Australia in the 2015 World Cup and then for his poor performance in the series against South Africa in October. The relentless barrage has made him even more protective of his personal life. Kohli, off the pitch, is now strictly out of bounds for everyone except a handful of friends and family. “I don’t know why people are so intrigued by what we [cricketers] do on a daily basis,” he says. “It’s none of their business.”
In less than a decade since he joined the hallowed ranks of the Men in Blue, Virat Kohli is all grown up. The bad boy of Indian cricket has stealthily turned into one of the best cricketers in the world for no other reason than his limitless drive to learn and be better. Indian cricket is in good hands. Bring out the banners, the snacks, the flags and the whistles. Turn on the television and enjoy world domination.
© Urvashi Pant, ELLE India