“There are good batsmen, there are great batsmen; then there’s a Virat Kohli”

History repeats itself.

But perhaps only then, when legends take control. The last time that India prayed together for a cricketer, that kids wanted to bat like someone and girls prayed for somebody special it was Sachin Tendulkar. Today, it’s Virat Kohli. And the way he’s going, tomorrow too, it’ll be Virat Kohli.

Before the Edgbaston Test, everyone was lost predicting the possible Indian playing XI. It wasn’t hard to understand why. The last that India toured England, the series was one-sided and propelled the use of the phrase- one-upmanship. It was England all over and India with nowhere to go.

This time, as the opening Test of the 5-match series was on the brink of putting Indian fans to sleep, one man rescued it from oblivion. That man was Virat Kohli.

Let it be asked- were you surprised? Let’s also face facts. These are brutal and punchy. Probably, had Virat not had plundered what might be called a brave hundred under the circumstances, the fan would’ve been interested to check social media updates.

Some may have stepped out of the ground to sip some English Earl Grey. Some would’ve proceeded to refresh their Insta updates. The rest would’ve much rather engaged in usual unhealthy troll battles.

Thank god, Virat Kohli teaches us to use Social Media sensibly, and wisely.

A humble thanks also to the English slip cauldron. Perhaps there’s a sense in calling the fielding position adjacent to the wicket-keeper as ‘slip’ cauldron whose task is to drop vital catches. But whether Kohli’s costly drop, when he was nowhere even close to his first fifty, wins India the game we don’t know yet.

Indulging in guesswork is futile. But what isn’t, however, is to give the devil his due. How else would you describe India’s rescuer today?

From a Joe Root-perspective, more valuable at this point in time is to think of Kohli as the devil who sucked the life out of English bowlers, just when it seemed they were draining India out.

Joe Root might have excelled in the bat-drop, Kohli excelled in the ‘Bat-pick,’ if you want to call it that.

Instead of communicating through a charade, Virat picked up his bat, enjoyed a thrilling day in typical English conditions and besides uniting cricket fans world-over, owned the Twitter stratosphere and the Facebook cosmos.

Virat Kohli
India Today

In enjoying a hundred probably as good as any you would’ve seen, it suffices to say, 149 is just the mathematical output. The greater picture lurks behind. Those 22 boundaries and 1 six are but an extravagant occurrence. Implicit in those rests a painstaking alignment of commitment and temperament.

The full range of strokes, the expansive footwork, the full swing of the bat, the exasperation at seeing being nearly caught- not once, but twice- the batting for triumphs through the tribulations- all of it was pure Virat Kohli.

Never before had we seen such a vital Kohli knock on English conditions. And in this collective joy for Indian fans but bitter agony for the English rests a reminder, perhaps akin to the ticking clock on a time-bomb.

The series has only just begun. This was but the First Inning of the 1st Test. There are 9 more batting attempts remaining.

Suffices to say, when the going gets tough, Virat gets going. And so do our heartbeats. Keep batting Virat Kohli- you’re the glitter amidst the gloom for India’s first inning outing.

 

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