In this colossus of a country, there are very few who are born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Mind you, this is not your conventional ‘silver spoon’. This is the silver spoon of talent.
In the field of sports, especially cricket, countless individuals, blessed with talent, have produced sparks of brilliance, but only to fade away. There have been very few who have been able to channelize their talent into something huge. One such person was none other than the God himself, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Though, right now, I would like to focus on his disciple, the-new-king-in-the-making, Virat Kohli.
The rise of Virat has been nothing short of phenomenal. Given his young age and what he has achieved till now, it won’t be long before he emulates the God himself. From a brash, aggressive young captain who led India U-19 to a World Cup victory in 2008, to be the skipper of the senior team across all 3 formats, Kohli has certainly come a long way. His perfect stance, glorious cover drives, domineering pull shots, that hunger to hunt down totals with remarkable ease, are all simply jaw-dropping. What is it that makes Kohli a cut above the rest of his contemporaries?
1. The courage to overcome failure
There are very few who have the grit and determination to bounce back after they have been pinned to the ground by bad performances. Not surprisingly, Kohli is one of them.
In the cold and seaming English conditions, he produced a dismal show, not crossing the 50-run mark even once in the 5 tests. James Anderson made his life hell by swinging the ball and producing Kohli’s outside edge every time he attempted to drive outside the off stump. This was in the August of 2014.
Thus the talented Virat Kohli had failed. Instead of being bogged down by the pressure, he kept his head down and started practising. He faced a mind-boggling amount of deliveries outside the off stump and improved his stance and technique. By gaining valuable inputs from legends like Sachin, he embarked on the difficult tour Down Under. The rest is history. There, Virat 2.0 was unleashed.
2. No to mediocrity
Whenever he comes on to the field, he gives his 100%.He never settles for anything less than that. He missed a crucial test match against Australia simply because he felt that he might be a burden to his team on the field because of his shoulder injury. Even as a captain, he never settles for mediocre performances. Especially in test matches, he goes for the win even when a comfortable draw can be played out. This was evident when he first captained India in the Australia tour. He pushed for an unlikely win in Adelaide chasing a formidable 364.Though India eventually lost, he had announced to the world that they were not there to merely compete but to dominate and win matches.
3. Dedication to the game
Parents are the pillars of strength to any person. When you lose them, obviously, the grief is unbearable. Kohli lost his father when he was playing a Ranji game. Even after such a huge emotional setback, he came back the next day and saved the match for Delhi. Such is the dedication of Virat towards the game. When you prioritise the game higher than anything else in life, it inherently improves your performance. Virat rarely misses any practise sessions and is always seen in the gym working on his fitness. This passion and love for the game are certainly paying off for the Delhi boy.
4. Fitness Freak
In any sport, you need to keep your body in shape to be able to perform for long hours on the field. And Virat, it seems, is not only reaching new heights with the bat, but also raising the bar for fitness in world cricket.
As I mentioned before, he could be seen in the gym working out any time of the day. He has a very strict diet and sticks to it religiously. And mind you, from being the chubby Punjabi boy that he was, to the fitness freak that he is, he has certainly come a long way. To switch from a diet full of carbs and oil to a relatively less tasty one consisting of only proteins and salad, the sacrifice has been huge. This craze for fitness is contagious in the Indian dressing room and is probably the reason why it is one of the best fielding units in the world at the moment. Virat himself has established himself as one of the best fielders in the world simply because of his fitness.
During a test series in Australia, young Virat Kohli had just scored a hundred. Surprisingly, the same day, people saw him heading towards the gym just after the day’s play got over. When asked why he was working out instead of savouring the moment, he replied-“Who knows, I might score a double hundred in the next innings”. Such is the hunger to score runs in this man. This attitude of competing with his own self-sets him apart and enables him to break records with surprising ease. He raises the bar for himself each time he steps out onto the field.
Also, the mature way in which he has handled his success is amazing. He is never high-headed by his achievements and has handled the spotlight well.
With his amazing temperament and leadership skills, Virat Kohli has handled the responsibility of captaining the Indian team very efficiently. We hope that he, along with the Indian team, reach newer heights in the coming years.