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Why Virat Kohli cried this day and then went on to establish his cricket calibre

Virat Kohli lost his father on December 19, 2006 but that did not stop the youngster from playing a brilliant knock for Delhi in their Ranji Trophy game against Karnataka.

cricket Updated: Dec 19, 2017 13:24 IST
Ankit Kumar Singh
Ankit Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Virat Kohli,Virat Kohli December 19,Virat Kohli Father
Only 18 then, Virat Kohli played a gritty knock for Delhi in Ranji Trophy just hours after receiving the news of his father’s death in 2006.(Getty Images)

December 19, 2006 is a date that will always bring tears to Virat Kohli’s eyes. However, it was the day that also provided a young Kohli with his coming of age moment. It was the day when a boy became a man and the rest is history.

It was the third day of a Ranji Trophy super league game between hosts Delhi and Karnataka. Virat Kohli, only 18 then, was unbeaten on 40 overnight and had a big job to do as his side still needed 192 runs to avoid the follow-on. However, early in the morning, Kohli’s life turned upside down when he received the shocking news of his father’s death.

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For Virat Kohli, his father Prem was everything from being a friend to a guide. His loss, as expected, had numbed him. Yet, the youngster was back on the ground after being part of his father’s cremation ceremony in the morning. Wearing a blank look, he batted with a steel in his eyes. He didn’t speak even a single word to anyone in the middle, but his bat did the talking. He eventually got out for 90, but by then he had ensured safety for his side.

The day was not about runs, though. It gave the first glimpse of Kohli’s steely determination that would become a hallmark of Kohli’s cricketing career in years to come.

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The story of how Virat Kohli overcame the loss of his father and returned to cricket ground to bat is well chronicled in cricket writer Vijay Lokapally’s book on the Indian captain, Driven.

Since that day, Kohli has not looked back as in his only eight-year long international career, he has scored more than 15000 runs with the help of 52 centuries. The way he is going at present, he seems to be the only batsman capable of emulating Sachin Tendulkar’s feat of 100 international tons.

First Published: Dec 19, 2017 12:19 IST