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50 Centuries Just Looking Like A Wow!

Team India’s star batsman is a bundle of energy on and off field. He dominated India’s game this World Cup, breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s record for maximum centuries in ODI cricket and becoming the highest scorer in a single edition of World Cup 

Photos: Getty Images

I love watching a good cricket match, but I am not a die-hard fan. I do not care much about numbers and milestones. I have my favourites in world cricket, but I never worshipped any of them. There are a few cricketers I will admire forever, and Virat is certainly a part of this list. I do not like the idea of comparing cricketers to one another. To me, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are legends by their own rights.

The other day, I saw a reel on Instagram from a party hosted by Mukesh Ambani in 2012 to celebrate Sachin Tendulkar hitting his 100th century in international cricket. Actor Salman Khan asks Tendulkar if his record will ever be broken and goes on to say, “Sachin ka record todna mushkil hi nahi, namumkin hai (It is not just difficult, but impossible, to break Sachin’s record).” To this, Sachin replied, “I see many youngsters in this room who can break my record. Virat and Rohit can break my record”. Kohli debuted in 2008, and, in 2012, the Master Blaster already knew that if anyone could break his record, it would be Kohli. The latter has already broken Tendulkar’s record of 49 centuries in the one-day international (ODI) format during this World Cup, and, if all goes well, might soon break his international cricket record too.

Virat: The Leader

When we Google the meaning of Virat, the first result that comes up reads: “Boy, Bravery, Heroism and Valour. It is synonymous with gigantic and enormous. Virat is also another word for ruler or leader.” It seems his name is eponymous of his character. He is the hero to millions of us and will remain a legend forever. Even at 35, he has a childlike exuberance on the field, is excellent in his craft and approaches the game with an energy that inspires the players on the field towards excellence. He is a brave cricketer, never scared, never bogged down, can rise to any occasion and dominate any situation. He is a born leader who can motivate others with his discipline, commitment, involvement and attitude.

This ICC World Cup, I saw a different Kohli. He was determined, unruffled and exacting. He took his time to settle down, but once he was in the rhythm of things, he dominated the innings. He hardly mistimed, stayed away from shots outside the off stump and pulled, but always kept the ball on the ground. He stroked his favourite cover drives in style and lofted sixes with conviction.

Kohli is always the silent captain. Even during the World Cup, he was reaching out to his colleagues time and again and was the driving force behind the game.

If I must justify his inclusion in the list of changemakers with statistics, he is the highest scorer in the ICC World cup matches, totalling 765 runs in 11 matches. He is the first-ever batsman to score 750-plus runs in a single edition of any ODI World Cup. This year, he has played 27 matches, batted 27 times and scored 1,377 runs with an average of 72.47 per match.

He is a man who loves his cricket and loves the attention. He loves the spirit of competitiveness and is a bundle of energy on and off the field. He is hungry for bigger and greater things. His obsession with fitness and relentless efforts to improve his performance makes me believe that we will see a 39-year-old Kohli play the next World Cup with the same passion and effort that he has been exhibiting since he was 24.

The author is the CEO of The Outlook Group