Fuelled by passion, Virat Kohli is a modern-day great
His 25th ODI hundred in 162 innings eclipsed the record set by the great Sachin Tendulkar who achieved the same in his 234th. It is not surprising that a former Australian pace bowler, Brett Lee, has said Kohli has an aura similar to Tendulkar’s.
Before the current tour, Kohli had struggled against Australia in ODIs on their home turf and averaged only 15.83. A dismal 95 runs in seven outings with a highest of 31 remained a blot on his otherwise exceptional career. Determined to set the record straight, Kohli has feasted on the home bowling in batting-friendly conditions to pummel 373 runs in four innings with two consecutive hundreds.
India’s inability to win any of those matches has been disappointing but Kohli has given his best. After missing out on a ton in the first match and a 50 in the second, India’s Test captain crossed the 100-run mark in the next two games in splendid style. Both hundreds were as per the situation of the game – the run-a-ball 117 in the third match came after the early loss of Rohit Sharma. He powered India to a big total with an off-colour Shikhar Dhawan and was dismissed going for the slog during the end overs.
His 25th ton, a swashbuckling 92-ball 106 was an example of ruthless efficiency and Kohli imperiously laid waste to whatever the bowlers threw at him. His unwillingness to shy away from the verbal barbs by the Aussies, particularly James Faulkner, was clearly seen too.
"You're wasting your energy. There's no point, I've smashed you enough in my life. Just go and bowl," Kohli told the all-rounder during the third game. In the fourth game too, Faulkner missed a run-out and Kohli wasted no time in rubbing it in to him by asking if he was sleeping!
He wears his heart on his sleeve and is a tough competitor who gives it as good as it gets. He oozes passion, fuelling his drive that could well result in many new records being set over the next few years.