Virat Kohli is enjoying a sizzling Indian summer that has left the cricket world in wonderment. In his avatar as Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper, his latest feat came on Wednesday night, a ridiculous century in a 15-overs-a-side game against Kings XI Punjab, and that too with seven stitches for the torn webbing in his left hand.
As he repeatedly tapped the left thumb on reaching his century, the bottom-of-the-table opposition stood demoralised. But they weren’t alone as Kohli had crushed the spirits of newcomers Gujarat Lions as well as twice champions Kolkata Knight Riders in the last two matches.
The unceasing torrent of runs from his bat is astonishing. Since the start of the year, the 27-year-old has amassed 1490 runs in 26 Twenty20 games, for country and club, in a mind-boggling average of 99.33.
After his 50-ball 113 on Wednesday night, his record aggregate for a single IPL season stands at 865 and he pipped Suresh Raina to become the first player to reach an aggregate of 4,000 runs in the glitzy league.
Along with the numbers, Kohli owes his amazing consistency to showing faith in conventional shots over the ramp- and switch-shots that dominate the T20 game.
The rate at which Kohli is piling on centuries, and the quality of his batting, has repeatedly drawn comparisons with his mentor, Sachin Tendulkar. Where the India Test skipper clear shows that he is a leader among new generation cricketers is his remarkable fitness that has helped him recover and plunge into action, game after game.
“I read somewhere on these lines, ‘To succeed, you need to have the skill and the will. But the will needs to be stronger than the skill’. Virat embodies this,” said former India spinner, Maninder Singh, summing up Kohli’s great run.
He can cap his great run by taking RCB to their first IPL title.