Happy Birthday Virat Kohli: Cricket’s Biggest Brand Turns 35 And He Is Here To Stay

Happy Birthday Virat Kohli: Cricket’s Biggest Brand Turns 35 And He Is Here To Stay

The unrivalled monarch of cricket's chasing legacy donned many hats ever since his debut in 2008 and has come out triumphant most of the time.

Haridev PushparajUpdated: Sunday, November 05, 2023, 03:56 PM IST
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Virat Kohli stands tall as cricket's reigning brand, the unrivalled monarch of the game. As 'King Kohli' celebrated his 35th birthday on Sunday, it's a fitting moment to reflect on the remarkable odyssey of the Delhi dynamo over the past 15 years.

In the cricketing realm, Sachin Tendulkar's records loomed like an impregnable fortress. Tendulkar, revered as almost divine by the Indian public, had set standards that appeared insurmountable, especially his feat of 100 international centuries—an apex in the cricketing landscape.

And with 100 international hundreds, he had set a benchmark that was almost impossible to break, the absolute peak of a mountain.

The in-your-face man

Kohli announced himself on the international arena with a persona that was entirely his own and an extension of his authentic self.

He was aggressive, brash, in-your-face and getting under the skin of the opposition at the drop of a hat and he was wearing his heart truly on his sleeve.

That’s what initially people thought he was all about until he found his true cricketing mojo with an unforgettable knock against Sri Lanka in 2012.

The master batsman, who was still finding his batting straps then, smashed 133 off just 86 balls in Hobart while India were chasing a mammoth 321 for victory against a quality Sri Lankan bowling attack.

Chasemaster arrives on the scene

He literally pulled India out of certain elimination and planted them in the final of the tournament and this was where Kohli’s beastly chase persona came into being.

The ruthless ability to chase and hunt down targets was something that Kohli started in the right earnest from Hobart in 2012.

The ‘King’ has come a long way since then with innumerable chasing masterclasses for India.

With 78 international hundreds including 48 ODI, 29 Test and 1 T20I, Kohli’s greatness is cast in stone and he in all likelihood will break Tendulkar’s ODI hundreds record in the upcoming games as well.

Backing pacers

The batting records apart, Kohli’s contribution to Indian cricket is that of bringing about a ruthless winning spirit and wolfpack culture when it comes to harnessing fast bowlers especially.

The current battery of Indian fast bowlers – the best ever – were all nurtured and backed by the vision and passion of Kohli, the captain.

The rise of Mohammad Siraj is as much due to his immense effort as it is the result of the faith and backing that Kohli provided him at the beginning of his career.

Fitness culture

The fitness aspect was always overlooked for the longest time in Indian cricket. But with the transformation of Virat Kohli into one of the fittest Indian cricketers, he made it a culture within the team especially under his captaincy.

Fitness was given major importance and with no compromises and that has helped the team in the long run as most Indian players are supremely fit today.

And, as he celebrated his 35th birthday on Sunday, fitness will be one of the major reasons why Kohli will be a part of the Indian team for atleast 3-4 years.

As far as his batting goes, the world knows that already.

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