Somewhere between being a quick-tempered young boy to a modern day master Virat Kohli scored 50 international hundreds. And it all happened so fast, the metamorphosis of Virat Kohli!
People saw Virat Kohli first when he stood on the stage lifting that U-19 World Cup 2008 in hands. Six months later he was handed his maiden ODI cap in Sri Lanka. He did not have a dream start to his one-day international career and took time to settle into his role. He got there when he scored his maiden ODI against Sri Lanka at Kolkata in 2009.
Over the next 2 years, he became India’s go-to batsman in all formats. 2012 saw Virat Kohli become a man of a boy. In 2012 he was handed over the vice-captaincy. Also that year he got his first test hundred and cemented his place in India’s west side.
Then in 2013, he led India for the first time in ODI cricket. But that was only for one series as a stand-in captain. At a time when people were questioning his temperament, he responded to the critics with the maturity. In his first 2 bilateral ODI series as captain, he whitewashed Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka proving that he is a captaincy material. Once Dhoni hung his boots as captain, India selectors were never looking at anyone else to take Indian cricket forward.!
They say the best years of a batsman are between 28 to 32. If that’s the fact then we could see the best of Virat Kohli in next few years.
But honestly speaking, is there any room for him to get better than what he is today? Unlike other batsmen, it is not something like a purple patch in his career which comes and goes. It looks like something he will never get out of!!At 29 he is already a legend of the game, if not then definitely a legend in the making. Just imagine what will he achieve in 8 years’ time if he continues with his consistency?
Kohli is also the joint fastest to 50 international hundreds with Hashim Amla, another modern day legend. Amla achieved this feat against Sri Lanka this February, both in 348 innings.
Kohli sits on 32 ODI hundreds and 18 tests hundreds right now. He perhaps will not surpass Tendulkar’s 51 test hundreds, but the ODIS, as Harsha Bhogle rightly mentioned during his commentary stint, ‘He is definitely not looking at 49 hundred from a telescope’.
– by Atharva Apte