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Happy Birthday Virat Kohli: Rising cricketer for Indian cricket

Happy Birthday Virat Kohli: Rising cricketer for Indian cricket:

A quick recap about his cricket career on his 27th Birthday:

Virat Kohli celebrates his 27th birthday. With Kohli, the development from his international debut to the present is fantastic. Those who’ve followed his career could have seen how Kohli progressed as a good cricketer. It is clear that Kohli had potential to be a captain, as under his leadership, team won India’s ICC under-19 World Cup in 2007-08. Kohli gave a great scope to the near future of Indian cricket as a youthful Indian side filled with future international cricketers pulled off a great success.

Kohli got a surprising call up in 2008 to the ODI team, and was instantly put out of his comfort zone and made to start. As the first tournament was a low-scoring one, so he reacted with scores of 12, 37, 31, 25, and 54, these were the noticeable figures of ODI debut cricketer Kohli. Kohli was exciting that he was kept by India around their ODI setup, though he mainly got to play only if one of the senior players were injured or otherwise indisposed.

Kohli was a part of the team in India for ICC Champions Trophy 2009, where India put in to struggling to perform better. One match was won and  next is lost by them. Nevertheless, it absolutely was in one particular success — over West Indies — that Kohli eventually set in the form of performance that made people stick to the show. Kohli, batting at No. 4, subsequently ruled in a 92-run partnering with Dinesh Karthik. Kohli stayed unbeaten on 79 off 104 balls with two sixes and nine fours. In a lot of ways, this was the innings that helped Kohli take his game to a brand-new level.

The following few innings weren’t especially productive for Kohli. Kohli got a few starts but did not build on that, till the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens in 2009. Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar were both sent back to dressing room with only 23 on score board. Kohli, again bat at No. 4, joined with Gautam Gambhir to put on an outstanding 224. Kohli scored his maiden ODI century, making 107 off 114 balls with a six along with 11 fours. Continuing the same form Kohli made  91, 9, 71 not out, and 102 not out in the next four innings. By now Kohli was building a reputation for himself. By 2008 Kohli had 1,479 runs in 40 matches at strike rate of 46.21.

His performances through this point were good enough that Kohli became a permanent member of the ODI lineup in India.

Kohli had been part of the ODI side in India since 2008 but has not played any test match yet.  Kohli performance was very impressive in his first test match in which he made mere 76 runs in three matches against west Indies. Kohli was picked for the Test series against England after the Test series against West Indies but failed to get just one match in the series. In the ODI with England which followed after the Test Series Kohli made 270 runs at a strike rate of 90, which stood as a great comeback for Kohli’s career.
This was another significant landmark as it gave him for what followed, the assurance. India toured Australia soon after that. Kohli got scores of 11, 9, and 0, 23 at Sydney and Melbourne, as India lost them both. There were calls as sections began dubbing him an ODI specialist. His brash, competitive approach didn’t sit well with folks either; he magnificently revealed “the finger” to crowds who have been booing him.

Dhoni gave him another opportunity in the next Test, and kept trust in Kohli. Kohli reacted by top-scoring in both innings with high class 44 and 75 in the second. India lost the match via an innings and 37 runs, and were bowled out for less than 200 however. Another Test at Adelaide found Kohli score his maiden Test hundred.

But from the ashes of the humiliation in India, Kohli grew along with his head held high. The assurance from playing the series, Kohli got transformed himself. India played with Australia and Sri Lanka next.

In a do-or-die match against Sri Lanka Kohli played with one of the finest ever ODI innings. India needed to chase down as a way to win whatever Sri Lanka scored in 40 overs. Regrettably for India, their sub continental neighbours made a score of 320 in stipulated 40 overs.  Openers Sachin Tendulkar, Sehwag, and Gambhir  played a critical innings and gave India a flying start, but later someone has to play the chase down to reach the target and that someone was Kohli. Kohli increased the run rate to 12.52 and beaten Malinga very hard to reach the target in 36.4 overs.

A tour along with the Asia Cup 2012 followed, and Kohli merely kept going. Kohli was in the middle of an unreal run in ODIs; he had a gold stretch that read 133 not out, 108, 66, 183, 106, 128, 1, 38 not out. That form carried forward to Test cricket too. Kohli scored his second Test century in Bangalore, and a few Tests later got back-to-back centuries against England and Australia.

By the year 2013, Kohli was well and really a significant player. With India’s stalwarts all having lost form or retired, Kohli led the new generation of Indian batsmen — including the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, and a recently rejuvenated Rohit Sharma, all of whom are older than him — in re-establishing India as a batting powerhouse. Kohli played a part winning ICC Champions Trophy 2013, playing a vital although short innings in the final.

Another landmark instant in Kohli’s career came when Australia toured India. It was a string that gave a second wind to Rohit as well, but Kohli was on another airplane. Rohit started the series with 61 in a losing cause, but followed it up by helping India to among the most belligerent chases in modern memory. Faced with a mammoth 360-run goal (incidentally, 359 was the same score Australia got against India in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 final), Kohli came out as well as played a Hobart-like blitz of an unbeaten 100 off 52 balls with eight fours and seven sixes as India won by wickets using an absurd 6.3 overs to save. Much more that was only one manic century Kohli got; four matches later Kohli hammered an unbeaten 115 and a six to help India chase down 350 over.

Kohli continued his run that was excellent having a productive Test series in South Africa, where he scored 119 and 96 at Johannesburg in the series opener in a match that found extraordinary twists and turns as it ended in a draw that was close. The tour to New Zealand saw Kohli score a match-saving fourth-innings 105 not out in the second Test at Wellington after the hosts were saved by Brendon McCullum’s record triple century.

In the midst of all his exploits in T20Is, the charts gently scaled in Tests and ODIs as well. Nearly unnoticed, he became the leading run-scorer for India. His innings in the semi final and final came in astounding pressure, but a mixture of lousy batting in the other end and excellent bowling from Sri Lanka meant that India neglected in the final while the innings he played in the semi final guided India home. Kohli finished as Man of the Tournament as well.

Afterward came the tour to England in India. It might prove to be Kohli’s sternest test to date, and one that he failed to pass mustard in. In five Tests in that series Kohli could just score 134 runs at a shocking average of 13.40, a vast departure from his customary standards. He fought for runs, and it appeared like his excellent run had finally hit on a rough patch. He scored a couple of ODI centuries against West Indies and Sri Lanka after that, but the dearth of Test runs was ahead of the all important tour to Australia was difficult to dismiss.

Afterward dropped another bombshell, in Dhoni’s lack it was Kohli heading the Test side for the first time. It was scheduled to be held at The Gabba, but Phillip Hughes’ tragic death meant that what was originally to be the second Test at Adelaide — the site of Kohli’s maiden Test century became the place for the first match.

Kohli was made from sterner stuff, although a lesser man than Kohli might happen to be nervous at being forced to head his nation for the very first time while at the middle of a run where he failed to reach 40 in his last 10 innings. He scored 141 and 115 as captain, almost taking India to an amazing success. His sending-off proved to be the turning point as India lost in the last session. This followed his 134-run chain using a draw of 692 runs at 86.50 with four centuries and a fifty.

Given Kohli’s track record however, he’s likely to create a sterling recovery across formats. Kohli’s status will probably continue growing with every passing year. He’ll shortly be captain and his leadership could usher in a fresh age of Indian cricket. The road so far has been a pleasure.

You can just imagine what lies ahead.

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