Indian Test captain Virat Kohli turned 27 on Thursday, the same day as India’s first Test against South Africa got underway at Mohali.
Since making his ODI debut in 2008, Kohli has grown by leaps and bounds and is today regarded as one of the best batsmen in the world.
Kohli’s captaincy became the talk of the town when he took India to victory in the 2007 Under-19 World Cup. Incidentally, India beat South Africa in the final then. Eight years later, Kohli has a massive task at hand against the same opponents, with India having already lost the T20 and ODI series against the rampaging Proteas side. Kohli will be hoping his team rewards him with a mammoth total as a birthday gift.
Whether it is his centuries in mammoth ODI run chases, or taking over the Test captaincy after MS Dhoni retired from the longest format mid-tour during the series against Australia last tour, Kohli has always been in the headlines. His relationship with Anushka Sharma took the nation by storm and paparazzi in the country went berserk trying to get ‘exclusive’ pictures of the couple.
As a cricketer, he hasn’t looked back since his first Test century in Adelaide during the 2012 tour Down Under, though the tour also got him in the news for the wrong reasons after a middle-finger salute towards the Sydney crowd. But that’s the only kind of cricket that Indian cricket’s poster boy knows - full of aggression and accepting any dare thrown at him.
Cricketers, commentators and governing bodies all took to Twitter to wish Kohli a happy birthday.
Happy birthday @imVkohli . May the force be with you in this most challenging series— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) November 5, 2015
The start of a series and a birthday for the young captain. Wish @imVkohli well.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 5, 2015