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 victorious World Cup 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. He 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. He 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 for 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 helping India chase down a daunting target of 360.
The following year, Kohli single-handedly took India to the finals of the ICC WT20 in Bangladesh but lost to Sri Lanka at the last hurdle. The next few months would prove to be a massive learning curve for Kohli who was found wanting in the swinging conditions of England. James Anderson was his tormentor as he exposed a distinct weakness outside Kohli’s off stump. Kohli was embarrassed but continued to remain a part of being the Test side. In the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka in November 2014, Kohli led India to a 5-0 routing of the Lankans making him the only Indian captain to have affected a 5-0 whitewash home and away in ODI cricket. In December 2014, Kohli was made captain of the Test side for India’s first Test against Australia in Adelaide but lost despite scoring centuries in both innings. On 30th December 2014, having saved the third Test for India against Australia at the MCG, Indian captain MS Dhoni announced his retirement from Tests with immediate effect citing too much strain as captain as the reason, handing over the mantle to Virat Kohli for the fourth and final Test match after losing another series Down Under. Kohli ended his disappointment of the England tour by scoring fantastically in the Australian tour, thereby squashing doubts of his class and technique to last in the longest version.