What Makes Virat Kohli a Special Captain? “To become a good player, you need talent. To become a great player, you need an attitude like Kohli.” This statement tweeted by the legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar speaks for itself.
Virat Kohli is a household name in all cricket loving families. The style of batting, his way of representing himself and his enchanting attitude – all combines to make him the most wanted cricketer of the young generation. He succeeded Dhoni as the captain of our Indian Cricket team and has since then he has been flawlessly leading the Team in an inspiring way. While some days might turn out to be good, some days are bound to be bad. Kohli is not an exception to the cycle of life. Most of the times he and his team do well but during some bad days, he fails to strike up a memorable performance and his teammates disappoint him at times too.
He has often received the brunt of the media and the critics have also not spared his then-girlfriend (now wife), Anushka Sharma, at times of his poor performance. But despite all odds, only at the age of 30, Virat Kohli is regarded as the greatest cricket player in today’s time. His struggles for making a path into the cricket career is worth mentionable.
Kohli was born in a middle-class Punjabi family and is the youngest among his siblings. He had an inclination towards cricket ever since he was a three years old kid. He grew up playing cricket in the lanes of his neighborhood with all other children. But he had some gifted batting skills which drew the attention of his neighbors and they suggested that he should receive professional training in this regard. In 1998, the West Delhi Cricket Academy was formed and Kohli was among the first students there. Soon he excelled in all spheres and was loved by the teachers of the academy. Rajkumar Sharma was his trainer at the academy.
Beginning of Cricket Life
Kohli first debuted for Delhi Under-15 team in October 2002 in the 2002–03 Polly Umrigar Trophy. He scored the highest runs for his team in that tournament with 172 runs at an average of 34.40. Post that he was selected as the captain of the team for the 2003–04 Polly Umrigar Trophy, 390 runs in 5 innings at an average of 78, including two centuries and two fifties.
In late 2004, he played for Delhi Under-17 team for the 2003–04 Vijay Merchant Trophy. He showed his excellent prowess in the series and became the highest run-scorer with 757 runs from 7 matches at an average of 84.11 with two centuries. In July 2006, Kohli got the chance of playing in the India Under-19 squad on its tour of England. His average runs in the three-match ODI series was 105. In 2006, Kohli decided to play for his team against Karnataka on the day of his father’s death and went on to score 90 in the match. He went to attend the funeral after the match.
He made his debut in T20 in April 2007 and emerged as the highest run-getter for his team in the Inter-State T20 Championship with 179 runs at an average of 35.80. At the 2008 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup held in Malaysia, Kohli captained the victorious Indian team. Batting at number 3, he scored 235 runs in 6 matches at an average of 47 and finished as the tournament’s third-highest run-getter and one of the three batsmen to score a hundred in the tournament. His impressive performance in the Under-19 Cricket World Cup made him noticeable among all other players and he was soon bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise on a youth contract.
Kohli started his international career in 2008 when he was selected in the Indian ODI squad for the tour of Sri Lanka and the Champions Trophy in Pakistan. However, he could not make a mark at his first international ODI and was dismissed only at 12 runs. Initial years of his international career didn’t go smooth. He could not perform well enough and he was only getting a chance to be in the team if any senior player could not play due to injuries or any other issues.
However, in January 2011, Kohli was India’s leading run-getter in the five-match ODI series of the South African tour with 193 runs at an average of 48.25 including two fifties. This series was a breakthrough point for Kohli. He jumped to number two spot on the ICC Rankings for ODI batsmen and was also selected in India’s 15-man squad for the World Cup. There was a debate on whether Raina or Kohli would play in the World Cup and finally it was Kohli who got the chance to represent his team in the prestigious world cup. Kohli- Gambhir’s 83-run partnership in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka was the turning point of the match and India won the World Cup after 28 years.
Since then Kohli has been a consistent performer for India, both in ODI and Tests. Kohli became the captain for the first ODI of the triangular series in the West Indies after Dhoni injured himself during the match and he was ruled out of the series subsequently. In his second match as captain, Kohli scored his first hundred as captain, making 102 off 83 balls against the West Indies and India won the match. Kohli was appointed as a captain in the entire series in 2013. He again showed his terrific batting skills in the matches and once again proved his excellence. He is known to be an aggressive player in the field.
At the age of 30, he holds innumerable records to his name.
- He scored the fastest century by an Indian cricketer in the ODIs (52 balls).
- In January 2019, he became the first cricketer to be awarded the top three ICC awards – the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year, the ICC Men’s Test Player of the Year and the ICC ODI Player of the Year awards.
- He is also the fastest Indian to reach 1000 runs in the ODIs beating Sachin Tendulkar.
- From 2010 to 2014, he scored the most runs in ODI as an Indian player. He continued to be the highest scored Indian player in the ODIs in 2016 as well.
- His records in the Test series are equally appalling. He holds the record of the most runs scored by an Indian player for the years 2012, 2015 and 2016. Along with Ricky Ponting of Australia, he holds the record of most consecutive wins in Test series as a captain from 2015–2017. He is also the first Indian and Asian captain to win at least one Test in South Africa, England, and Australia.
While he might seem to be aggressive on the field, Kohli is a caring and down to heart person in personal life. He defended his then-girlfriend Anushka Sharma (now wife) when critics blamed her for his ill performance. He has shown how an ideal man should be like. He is definitely a special captain for our Indian Cricket team not only due to his outstanding professional records but also because of the person he is.