Not a gangster, but a monster

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Not a gangster, but a monster

Who’d have thought a little boy born this day in 1988 would carry the hopes of billions of Indians in a sport which is considered a religion in itself in the country, and that too from a nation which produced legendary cricketers who’ve set the bar too high for someone else to even catch up.

This boy who’s already seen various ups and downs in his early life made his U-19 debut in the year 2006 and did not take long to make an impression and rise through the ranks to be taking the reigns of the team as the captain. He led the team victorious in the U-19 2008 world cup, also making his impression in batting by being in the top-3 run getters of the tournament.

With such performances, it didn’t take him long to get into the national team and he made his international debut in August 2008 , at the age of 19 and it took him 4 matches to find his first international milestone, his maiden 50. While he was not a regular in the team with the likes of Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir and Yuvraj in the top order, the batsman made the most of whatever opportunity that came his way, this reaching his big milestone of maiden ODI century in December 2009. 

His performances later against big teams like Australia and New Zealand made him a regular in the team, making him a member of the world cup winning squad in 2011. He also became the first Indian to score a century on a world cup debut with the opening match played against Bangladesh. In the high pressure game of final against Sri Lanka, Kohli made 35, stitching an invaluable 83 run partnership with Gambhir pulling India out of trouble when both the openers perished with a regrettable score.

He soon built a name for himself, especially with chases and helped India win some high scoring matches scoring big tons and stitching excellent partnerships with almost everyone in the top order. 

While this was all 1.0 version of Kohli his 2.0 came out in the tri-series with Australia and Sri Lanka where the batter managed to score 133 of 86 balls chasing a huge target of 321 within 37 overs to keep India’s hopes alive in the tournament. His strike rate since then has seen a considerable improvement.

While his ODI career was going guns, his test career had some lean patches in between, with comments on his defensive technique in SENA nations. In the test series that happened with Australia and England during this 2012-2014 period, he averaged less than 25 bringing him under scrutiny but the batter only worked extra hard to evolve into a completely new beast.

His form and supreme consistency earned him captaincy of the side and he bought a new aggressive outlook to the team, making the team one of the most formidable teams in the world, especially in Test format and his role in building the pace department of the Indian bowling attack is commendable. 

His captaincy made an impression so big that the narrative in all overseas tours was Kohli against their corresponding nation. In Australia, to date, when India walks in, it is Kohli they look as their primary opponent and then the team. Such is the pressure he’s put different teams under with his performances.

His best batting phase should be considered the 2016-2019 period where his form was unreal with him scoring centuries like a walk in the park and even in leagues like IPL, he amassed as many as 973 runs in one season alone which is record yet to be broken. 

Even in T20 world cup in 2016, he emerged as the top scorer for India in many matches and his performance of 82 not out against Australia to knock them out of the tournament is an innings no Indian cricket fan would forget.

In a strange turn of tide, Kohli's form dipped post 2019 and after covid, he failed to find his rhythm back and struggled to make big scores and for a man who hit 70 centuries in record time, he failed to hit one for almost 3 years.

During the same time, he dropped his captaincy and was under immense pressure with shoutouts for dropping him out of the squad time and again.

His comeback however came in the 2022 Asia Cup where he managed to hit a century against Afghanistan in India’s last match of the tournament ending his long wait for the three digit score. 

With that innings the King Kohli managed to continue his good form into the T20 world cup currently happening. His innings against Pakistan will go down as one of the best innings of all time, not just in his cricketing career but in India’s as well. 

Like they say, the comeback is always stronger than the setback, the batter has raised from the abyss and is looking to grow bigger and better with each match, and to also get back to his original best where he dominates every attack, no matter the ground, no matter the opposition, no matter the situation.

And finally, to say his name, all hail KING KOHLI, the man who is not a gangster but a man who walks into the ground, makes his presence felt, dominate the proceedings, put the opposition under pressure and look to the opposition like a MONSTER.

Happy birthday VIRAT KOHLI.

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