The captain of the Indian Test team, Virat Kohli, has played probably one of the best innings in recent memory, scoring his third double century of the year on Sunday. Only Australia’s Michael Clarke has scored more Test centuries in a calendar year (four). At the end of Day 4 of the fourth Test against England, India amassed a mammoth 631 runs, establishing a 231-run lead. England’s batsmen have faltered in the second innings, finishing the day on 182/6.
With another day’s play left, the English are on the verge of going down 3-0 in the five-Test series. Needless to say, Kohli’s stupendous batting performance has once again drawn comparisons with the great Sachin Tendulkar. For the current generation of aspiring cricketers, Kohli is defining the new model. His aggressive, confident and technically sound stroke play even during moments of crisis has left even the greats of the game purring.
Some of the shots he plays during an innings are unreal. But more than his technical skills, it’s his attitude on the pitch that has caught the imagination of many. He is like the boxer who must land the first punch. It’s an attitude he carries even as captain, reminding many of the legendary Saurav Ganguly. What’s even more remarkable about Kohli’s performances is that his batting statistics have been off the charts ever since he took over the captaincy.
In 20 matches as Test captain, his batting average stands at 65.50, second only to the legendary Don Bradman's 101.51 among captains with 2000-plus Test runs. One of the marks of a true sporting great is his/her ability to enhance his performance levels when shouldering greater responsibility. Some players just thrive under greater responsibility.