Daring, tough and fiercely talented, Virat Kohli has emerged as one of the pack-leading faces of Indian cricket's current generation. With a firm-bottom hand grip and the ability to smash balls landing on a particular area to any part of the ground at will, Kohli has carved a niche of his own in Indian cricket. The king of chases as many of his fans have christened him, Kohli is a deeply hammered nail across all formats in the Indian national team.
Kohli rose to fame when he captained India's World Cup winning Under-19 side in Malaysia, in 2008. He was immediately propelled into the lucrative Twenty20 tournament - the Indian T20 League in 2008 and has since been a part of the Bangalore franchise and also went on to become the captain of the team in 2012 before being retained in 2014 as well. Devoid of noteworthy performances in the first edition, his domestic form still won him an India ODI cap on the tour to Sri Lanka in the same year. The Delhi lad was initially deployed at various positions in the batting line-up, from replacing Virender Sehwag as an opener to accelerating in the middle-order. After 25 ODI innings, he had already amassed 10 fifty-plus scores including two centuries. Kohli has always believed in backing his confidence and with the assurance evident in his shot selection and footwork, he was rarely found wanting with his technique even on bowler-friendly surfaces abroad. Once Kohli grew in maturity, especially in the ODIs, lean patches made way for eye-ball grabbing consistency.
The aggressive right-hander had a marvellous run in 2010 during which he amassed over 1000 runs and did not let his guard down in 2011 by scoring a century in his maiden World Cup match against Bangladesh and contributed decently right throughout the tournament. The wait for a Test cap ended when he was selected in the Test team on the tour of West Indies in 2011. The strongest evidence of his mettle came early in 2012 during his maiden ton in whites on India's tour to Australia; he put in an intrepid batting display while the others failed. His efforts paid off and Kohli was soon handed over the vice-captaincy of the Indian team ahead of the Asia Cup in 2012. He ended the tournament as the highest run-getter which included a whirlwind 183 off 148 balls against Pakistan. He captained the Indian ODI team for the first time against Sri Lanka in a Triangular ODI series in the Caribbean after an injury ruled MS Dhoni out for three ODIs. He then tasted success of full-fledged captaincy in Zimbabwe where he marshaled the team in absence of Dhoni, who was rested, and achieved a 5-0 clean sweep over the hosts. He added another feather to his cap when he registered the fastest ODI century by an Indian, off just 52 balls against Australia in October, 2013, Jaipur and helped India chase down a daunting target of 360. Virat Kohli immensely contributes to India’s success in all formats of the game and continues to be his side’s best bet.