Taking batsmanship beyond boundaries

Virat Kohli has transcended limits hitherto considered insurmountable.

Kohli swept the top three individual ICC awards for the year 2018.   -  GETTY IMAGES

His quest for cricketing perfection has pushed the benchmark for batsmanship. For Virat Kohli, batting is unfettered demonstration of art which has no boundaries. Not just in the longer format but the shortest too. The recognition from the International Cricket Council (ICC) is a unique feather in his already-crowded hat.

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Kohli has transcended limits hitherto considered insurmountable. Centuries embellish his batting craft in all forms. There is no component in his batting that can be termed weak. His gait to the crease – a brisk and confident march – creates an imposing pressure on the fielding side. Kohli gets into his stride at a frightening pace as bowlers, more often than not, bow to his command.

For Kohli, the only incentive when he holds the bat is contributing to a winning cause. The impetus is to dominate, to deny the opponents a semblance of a chance. That comes from his strength of character to succeed. His hunger for runs is insatiable as he lends a fresh and natural touch to his batting – playing the ball on merit. Many times playing it on his terms and leaving the bowler with little choice.

It is not that opponents don't analyse Kohli's acts at the crease. It is just that they can't find a solution to dent his consistency. He has revolutionised batting with his ability to excel on all surfaces.
Figures seldom reflect Kohli's mastery in the middle. You have to watch it to relish it. It is not that Kohli deals with the situation differently in Tests, limited overs and T20. He only sets different
barometers – constructive and constantly innovative.

Kohli prepares to bat in the Perth Test against Australia. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES   -  GETTY IMAGES



Kohli's preparation commences from the first ball of the innings faced by the team's openers. His batting is built on qualities that stand out – from footwork to shot selection. His range of strokes allows him the freedom to set the pace, especially in limited overs. In Tests, he loves to grind the bowlers, who face intense scrutiny from Kohli's remarkable ability to observe the slightest change in the line of attack from the opposition. The way he deals with the spinners these days is a throwback to the vintage times of Viv Richards - walking towards the ball, instead of stepping out, and then guiding the ball suitably for runs.

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How often, and how comfortably, he wades into the bowling instantly on his arrival at the crease. His endurance is exemplary because he learns from errors and builds on the reprieves. His cricket is a demonstration of artistic splendor, a style constantly evolving, inspiring a generation to emulate him. If he is magnificence personified at the crease, Kohli has earned every bit. The cricketing world can rejoice in his majestic vocation of eternal poise.