The remarkable aspect of Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli's enthusiasm for Test cricket is infectious, while he got the formula for victory right Down Under to create history.

Virat Kohli kisses the Border-Gavaskar trophy after India won the Test series against Australia.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Virat Kohli has his faults. He can be brash, in-your-face and ill-tempered. His methods are not for everyone.

Yet, he has a priceless quality - his zeal for Tests. Kohli’s heart is in the right place.

In this day and age when cricket is driven by commerce, Kohli prioritises Test cricket, continues to be fascinated by the challenges of the five-day game.

Kohli confesses to being obsessed by the thought of winning Test series away from the sub-continent and wants his men to show the same intensity.

He not just puts in the hard yards himself — he follows a rather brutal fitness regime — but drives his men to give their everything in pursuit of glory in whites.  

And he wants the current bunch to carry the message forward to the next generation to pursue the Test dream.  

This has been a momentous trip of Australia by India. India finished the tour by winning ODI decider at Melbourne but the high point of the campaign was the maiden Test series triumph in Australia, after 71 years of trying.

It was a historic feat. At the heart of the Indian conquest was skipper Kohli. His passion for Test cricket is infectious. It rubs off on his men.

Rishabh Pant, the young wicket-keeper batsman is a case in point. Just into his 20s, he is a phenomenal talent, not daunted by situations or adversaries.

An improving ‘keeper, he has surprised many by raising the level of his glovework, Pant’s batting ability appears out of the ordinary with his bat speed, ability to pick length and the strength of his wrists.

Pant, goaded by Kohli, is relishing the challenges of Test cricket, has grown in stature.

Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri - they share the right chemistry - also understood the value of developing the right pace pack and keeping it fit to win away series.

Bowling coach Bharat Arun and fitness trainer Shankar Basu had crucial roles to play in keeping the pacemen hungry and in good shape.

Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and the rest were on target, with their speed, hostility, variety and most importantly control. They maintained the pressure from both ends, gave very little away in terms of width or length and choked the batsmen with accuracy.

There were several instances of Australian batsmen losing their wickets after a start but they were never really in because of the intense struggle for runs and there being no let-up in pressure. And when they slipped, the Indians struck.

Bumrah with his freakish action, speed, lift and control was the biggest factor, and Shami with his skiddish pace, not far behind. Ishant Sharma chipped in line and bounce.

Catches were held - fielding coach R. Sridhar was on the ball. Then there was the old Test faithful Cheteshwar Pujara with loads of runs.

Kohli and his journey in Test continues. The expectations have only risen.

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