Virat Kohli steps up to the crease to show fans and naysayers why he truly is the best at what he does.
By Paula Dsouza
Tides often follow any sport that is played, and with the incessantly erratic rise and fall of these tides, comes the strife of every sportsman. Some may effortlessly float on, leaving others a little mentally concussed, spoilt for choice and yet with no answer. It is often in times like these that the true ability and strength of a sportsman are put to the test. A test wherein they must confront themselves and what they truly want. It is in understanding the answer to those questions that they are able to rebuild and fortify what once was. Thus, gaining strength from a lack thereof, fully embracing vulnerability and in doing so, building stability.
Long live the king
Virat Kohli. He has been called many a thing. From the King of Indian cricket to a raging hothead and everything in between. He has both risen with the tide and crashed beneath it. However, when put to the test, the king truly came out a king. Prior to the T20 World Cup, amid criticism of the Indian cricketer’s dry run, Australia’s former speed bowler Brett Lee almost prophetically claimed that it would almost be impossible to keep a legend like Kohli down. He said, “There are times when you don’t get hundreds or you don’t get fifties. That’s all part of professional sport. What I do know is Virat Kohli is a legend of the game and it’s very hard to keep these guys down for too long.”
The King of Cricket brought his A-game to Dubai at the Asian Cup match in September 2022. In a historic match against Afghanistan, the former Indian captain ended his three year-long drought after hitting his first-ever T20 century. Before this, the last international century the player hit was in 2019 during a test match against Bangladesh. Kohli has, in light of his current match streak, become the first Indian cricketer to play 100 matches across all formats and is globally ranked second after the great Ross Taylor.
During the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup, Virat Kohli managed to, nearly singlehandedly, defeat the Pakistani cricket team in Australia. This match was reportedly the tournament’s most-watched game, where India had to chase Pakistan’s tricky score of 160 runs. Kohli scored 82 runs in just 53 balls – a sensational feat! He personally had no words for what happened when asked about it after the match. According to the player, keeping in mind the opposition and the entirety of the situation, this game marked his best knock ever. Indian cricket fans are brimming with joy and celebration in light of their star player’s comeback. His wife Anushka Sharma took to Instagram to praise him saying, “You have brought sooooo much joy in people’s lives tonight and that too on the eve of Diwali! You are a wonderful, wonderful man, my love. … our daughter is too small to understand why her mother was dancing around and screaming wildly in the room, one day she will understand that her dad played his best innings that night which followed after a phase that was tough on him, but he came out of it stronger and wiser than ever before!!” The cricketer dedicated this win to Anushka and their daughter Vamika. Kohli ended the last match India played with a six, consequently winning the game against the Netherlands.
Being back at the pinnacle of his cricket career, Kohli opened up in an interview with Star Sports regarding his month-long break earlier this year. He went on to talk about how he had to fake his intensity and was feeling mentally down. However, after deciding to put the bat down for a while, Kohli said, “Faking to be strong is worse than admitting to be weak.” He spoke about the importance of being able to recognise limits before things take an unhealthy turn. He reached a point wherein he wasn’t excited to train and practice anymore, and didn’t feel like himself. As previously said, tides follow sports and they always will.
Kohli, in his interview, solidified the fact that at the end of the day, he is human and will have moments where he swims with the tide and moments where he is unable to, which is perfectly okay. Consequently, it was in this un-idolisation of himself that he truly was able to find himself. In taking this much-needed break, the cricket star managed to reiterate his individual identity and separate that from the demands of his position. In doing so, as everyone has been ecstatic to see, Virat Kohli is back and he is better than ever. And somehow it still feels like the best is yet to come.
In taking this much-needed break, the cricket star managed to reiterate his individual identity… In doing so, Virat Kohli is back and he is better than ever.