Virat Kohli reminds me of Gautam Gambhir. I remember Gambhir throwing away his wicket, playing unnecessary pull shots during his initial days. He was criticized for his casual approach towards the game. But sooner he realized the importance of consistency. Gambhir is now considered to be the most consistent player in all formats of the game. Kohli has the same talent. He had impressed with his knocks while playing for the Bangalore Royal Challengers in the IPL season 2, but on a number of occasions he was out trying to be extra aggressive. But Kohli has been transforming his game pretty well for quite some time. He has been able to differentiate between the role he has to play in a T20 and an ODI.
In the last one month or so Kohli has played three formidable innings which might prove to be the turning point of his career. May it be his first ODI century-107 against the Sri Lankans in December 2009, 91 against Bangladesh a couple of days before or 71* against the Lankans yesterday, they all have been innings which prove his maturity as a player. He values his wicket more than before and has learned the art of performing under pressure. You need not hit a six every now and then just to prove that you are a good one day player. He lacked consistency and obviously patience which he has adopted into his style of playing now.
He came into highlight while he scored 90 runs playing against Karnataka on a day when he lost his father way back in 2006. Though his team desperately needed him yet his team mates were surprised when they saw him return to play for Delhi. At the age of 18 such spirit for the game is highly commendable. Players like Tendulkar have gone through the same phase earlier.
Kohli seems to be a promising talent. The former under 19 captain for India has a huge female fan following and the girls keep asking about this guy with good looks (they hardly bother how good a batsman he is). His captaincy had been praised a lot when he led his side to win the won the Under 19 World Cup which took place in Malaysia in 2008. Besides being a reliable batsman and a medium pace bowler Kohli’s fielding is one of his USP’s.
Now he reminds me of Gambhir as I mentioned his approach towards the game was quite similar to that of Gambhir’s earlier. But now I guess Gambhir- Kohli partnership has turned out to be a match winning one for the past one month or so. Both of them started their careers playing for Delhi. So as Gambhir is now an inseparable part of the Indian team, Kohli is leaving no stone unturned proving that he deserves to be a part of the regular Indian squad. Looking at the 2011 World Cup and the way he is playing, he might be India’s favorite trump card!
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