At 25, he has the weight of an entire country's expectations on his shoulders ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament. For Virat Kohli though, pressure is just another reason to perform at his absolute best. After all, legends never settle for the ordinary.
At a time when the Indian national cricket team has been extremely ordinary, Kohli's bat has been like a guiding beacon for a gradually sinking ship. Defeats have come thick and fast for his side but the Delhi batsman has shown the right temperament, sublime skill and excellent form to stand out as an individual . And while his batting has propelled him to the top of ODI rankings for batsmen once again, the last few weeks also gave a glimpse into his leadership skills - Kohli led India in the recently concluded Asia Cup.
His approach to batting as well as to leading the side are not too different from one another. Hard-work and an unrivaled passion for the sport has made him an irreplaceable asset in the side.
Well rested. Time to get back to the grind now!- Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) March 13, 2014
Such is his prowess that despite having the additional pressure of leading the side in the Asia Cup, Kohli - the batsman, finished with an aggregate of 189 from three matches! It was not the first time though that Kohli was sublime with the bat but the way he wielded his bat and marshaled his men at the same time showed that while the present may be rather gloomy, Indian cricket's future sure is bright. (Also read: Virat Kohli raring to fire in ICC World Twenty20)
Even the hardest of critics have seldom paused before flaying Kohli. And they have not had many chances to do so since he made his international debut in 2008 - in an ODI against hosts Sri Lanka. It is no secret, therefore, that rival teams are always on the lookout for particular ways to stop this run machine. "Virat Kohli is one batsman who will break all the records in international cricket," former Pakistan cricketer Zaheer Abbas recently said. "The transition phase in Indian batting has already happened as they now have a set line-up." (Read: Virat Kohli is destined for greatness, says Zaheer Abbas)
With over 5600 ODI runs at an average of 52.16, Kohli is predicted to break international records with ease going forward. One look at his life off the field though will show that this here is not just a maverick batsman on the field but a stylish, suave 'all-rounder' off it as well.
Rumoured to be dating Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma, Kohli naturally has a huge fan following - one that has made him a hot property in the world of advertisements. In fact, his on-screen presence is second only to his presence on the web with Google reporting recently that he was the most searched cricketer in India - leaving skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni way behind.
There is little wonder then that here is a player - already labeled as a champion - who has all of what it takes to be a legend in the sport. Kohli's future, from here on, can only be spectacular - a sign that augers well for the national team as well.