“Virat Kohli is cricket’s Cristiano Ronaldo,” Brian Lara said. This comment from the batting great Brian Lara caught a lot of attention as it is very rare to see such extreme comparisons between football and cricket.
Cristiano Ronaldo had been leading the football charts for quite a few years now and this comparison doesn’t only demonstrate Kohli’s greatness on the field but also speaks loads about his hard work and talent.
“I think it has got a lot to do with Virat’s outstanding commitment besides his preparation. I don’t think he is any more talented than a KL Rahul or a Rohit Sharma but his commitment to preparing himself properly stands out. He is, for me, the cricketing equivalent of Cristiano Ronaldo. His fitness level and his mental strength are unbelievable. His batting skills are unbelievable. He is a guy you cannot leave out in any era. If a guy is averaging 50 plus in all versions of the game, then that is something which is unheard of,” Lara told PTI during an interview.
Earlier, Nasser Hussain had also said that Virat Kohli is the Cristiano Ronaldo of cricket.
“I think what Kohli is trying to do is push the boundary and raise the bar of everything he does. I read out here that he prefers Ronaldo to Messi. Messi was given a lot of natural ability but he prefers Ronaldo, who has made himself the footballer that he is and pushed himself on and off the football pitch, and that is what Kohli has done in cricketing terms”, Nasser Hussain had said while covering a match on SkySports.
Here are 5 reasons that make Virat Kohli the Cristiano Ronaldo of cricket:
As eighteen years old, Virat heard of his father’s demise when he was playing a Ranji game for Delhi. The state was in a vulnerable situation and had Kohli quit midway, Delhi would’ve fallen into the trench of a humiliating loss but Virat stayed. He scored 90 runs to keep Delhi away from a loss. This commitment is something Ronaldo displays every time he takes on the field, trying to grab each chance to score a goal. Virat who is 32 years old now, has been following a strict diet and a stringent work out a schedule to stay competent.
2) Practice and more practice
Talent alone doesn’t suffice any sportsman’s success. Like Ronaldo, Virat never stops practicing and working on his fallbacks. Every match is an experience for such players who never stop learning and growing with every setback. Kohli had a horrible English tour in 2014 but after practicing and making certain amendments in his gameplay, the 31-year-old slammed his first test century on English soil in 2018.
Numbers speak for both these players. Be it Ronaldo winning the Ballon d’Or 5 times, having the highest number of Club World Cup trophies or Virat Kohli being the only batsman in the current scenario to maintain a fifty-plus average in all three formats, both these players have registered their names in the record books.
One might see both these players scream, smile and even cry on the field. These emotions come out only because of their passion for the game. This passion makes them feel every minute and every ball. Only a passionate player can play the game without giving up or getting tired. Every single Virat converts into two runs, has a lot of passion in it, his will to keep running, his desire to win the game.
5) Team player
Personal records don’t matter so much as winning a trophy does. Virat has been an ideal team man since he began his career, be it his continuous efforts in bringing Royal Challengers Bangalore on top of the table or every time he hasn’t thought of his hundred and scored quick runs. Ronaldo seems like someone who would die for his team. Remember the Euro finals where the No.7 was injured but kept up at the sideline just to guide Portugal past a stunning victory.
Virat Kohli, just like Cristiano Ronaldo, is a very fit athlete and he has set new benchmarks for fitness in the Indian dressing room. Many cricket pundits believe that Virat Kohli has made a massive contribution to Indian cricket by emphasizing fitness as much he does and starting a ‘fit body’ culture in Team India.