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Virat Kohli Birthday Special: As Virat Kohli turns 30, chance to make more history beckons

Despite breaking record after record in 2018, there is chance for Virat Kohli to further cement his legacy in next 12 months.

cricket Updated: Nov 05, 2018 22:43 IST
Himanshu Dhingra
Himanshu Dhingra
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Virat Kohli Birthday,Happy Birthday Virat,India VS West Indies
File Photo: India's captain Virat Kohli raises his bat to acknowledge the applause from the spectators as he leaves the field at the end of their innings.(AP)

Such is the life of a sportsperson that no matter how adroitly you dealt with the previous challenge, the next one is just around the corner and much like in a video game it will be harder, it will come from unexpected directions and will test you on a whole new level.

Even if your name is Virat Kohli, a man who has won almost everything that there is to win (World Cup, Champions Trophy) and broken almost every record that there is to break.

It’s often said that the best years for a cricketer are between the age of 28 and 32, if that holds true then Virat Kohli ladies and gentlemen is just getting started. The India captain and undisputed best batsman in the world turns 30 and looks at the peak of his powers and has never looked fitter.

What separates best from the good is the hunger to do better every single time and right the wrongs of the past.

Take the recent tour of England for example; most watchers had doubts whether Virat would be able to deal with nemesis James Anderson who made his life miserable in 2014. Boy, did we get an emphatic answer? 593 runs at an average of 59.3 in 10 innings and undoubtedly the stand out batsman of the series. The series just about sums up the man: ability in abundance, character and will to go with it.

For Virat, there is still plenty more for him to do, more frontiers to conquer, more records to break, both as a batsman and as a captain.

As the old saying goes, it’s easier to get to the top, it’s much harder to stay there and as Kohli enters his 31st year he does so as the number one batsman in ODIs and Test cricket. That makes him the scalp that everyone wants and one with a target on his back.

The next challenge that awaits Kohli is the tour of Australia, a place where he has done really well, scoring 992 runs in eight matches and last time round almost single-handedly got India over the line, only for the fine margins to go against him and the team.

This time the expectations from Kohli are higher both as batsman and as a captain against a depleted Australia squad which by the looks of it is still feeling sorry for themselves. As India was considered the final frontier by former Australia captain Steve Waugh, with no Test series wins, Australia is one of team India’s. A Test series win Down Under will put Kohli on such a pedestal that others will get a neck sprain looking up to him.

Then there is a small matter of the World Cup, a competition where Kohli has already tasted success, Kohli’s first as captain and he will be looking to leave his mark in England once again. Playing in June and early July will have its own challenges and demand even more from team and in particular the skipper.

Closer to home and prior to the World Cup there is Indian Premier League, a competition that Virat Kohli and Royal Challengers Bangalore have never won. The Delhi born batsman has over 5,000 runs for the franchise from southern India and has played with some global superstars and the fact that he hasn’t won the tournament even once must surely eat at a man with as much pride as Kohli.

There is a lot on offer before Kohli turns 31 and no matter what he has done previously, if teammates and coaching staff can support him to the desired level then the next 12 months could put Kohli in a company so rare that he would get bored with loneliness.

First Published: Nov 05, 2018 09:01 IST