Superstar power: Virat's aura growing by the day | india | Hindustan Times
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Superstar power: Virat's aura growing by the day

Over the years, Virat Kohli has picked up the reins of Indian batting, and as the seniors have bowed out one after another, the success of India now hinges on his.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2014 01:09 IST
Nilankur Das

Virat Kohli was the first to get out of the team bus, even before the commandos escorting the team bus had run in to take up positions.

Head down, he quickly walked into the dressing room of the Khan Shaheb Osmani stadium here, about a couple of hours drive from Dhaka provided the traffic is not particularly unruly.

Over the years, the Delhi batsman has picked up the reins of Indian batting, and as the seniors have bowed out one after another, the success of India now hinges on his.

He has scored with aplomb around the world and despite India's dwindling returns on the success graph the 25-year-old has continued to rise both in confidence and stature.

A century and 96 at Johannesburg, hundred at Wellington and his last one here at Fatullah against the hosts were all innings of authority.

"Virat Kohli is one batsman who will break all the records in international cricket," Pakistan's chief cricket consultant and batting coach Zaheer Abbas said on the sidelines of his team's nets session on Sunday afternoon.

The halo
Last year, Viv Richards, who had come to India for a coaching stint with the Delhi Daredevils, had said Virat was one batsman who reminded him of his playing days.

"I love watching Virat Kohli bat. He looks to me like an individual of my own heart. I love his aggression and serious passion that I used to have. He reminds me of myself," Richards had said.

On Sunday, Zaheer went on to say that Virat's mere presence makes Indian batting a force to reckon with.

"The transition phase in Indian batting has already happened as they now have a set line-up. Pakistan also have a talented bunch of batsmen. But we are in the process of rebuilding," the 67-year-old Pakistan legend said.

India take on Pakistan in the opening match of the World T20's Super 10 stage on March 21, and though Pakistan have never beaten India in a World Cup match, Zaheer this time oozed confidence.

"Our batting is not as good as India's and it is still in a transition phase. But our performance in the Asia Cup has given me hope. We have now started to chase well also," he said.

Kohli, on the other hand, was not willing to lay much emphasis on the Pakistan match.

"We have other matches against Australia and the West Indies. Australia are in great form and West Indies are the defending champions," he said during Saturday's media interaction.

"Our players are here because they have all performed well at the domestic level. We have to keep faith. We can't expect an innings like AB (De Villiers) from someone who has played just five or six matches," Kohli said.