With Virat Kohli stepping down from the mantle of Test cricket, India was left with a colossal void at the helm of affairs. Even though Rohit Sharma is an extremely promising prospect, he is majorly untested in the international circuit, especially when it comes to the longest format of the game.
Virat Kohli’s presence as a skipper in the international circuit gave a sense of reliability to the Indian contingency. Kohli always liked to hit back. He was not someone who would silently accept even an iota of sledging subjected to him or his team.
That is what made VK so special to the team. Probably, the debacles of the Indian middle-order were too glaring for the world and hardly there was any backup whatsoever. Kohli tried desperately to keep the middle-order afloat but sadly, every cricketer goes through a slump in form and for the King, it coincided with a time when the entire world of cricket was adapting to a grimmer version of the sport.
Even though Kohli’s scores would grant the status of a “virtuoso” to anyone else in the world, and yet, somehow, Kohli’s benchmark of brilliance was raised to a century.
Every single time, Virat missed out on a century, the entire world jumped to the conclusion that VK was over and there was nothing left of him. Yet, it was Virat’s extraordinary brilliance in the WTC final that kept India fighting even though the New Zealand bowlers kept on tormenting the Indians at every single opportunity.
Let us turn the clock back by a while, maybe a couple of years when India stepped foot Down Under. History was never kind to the Indians, especially in the last decade.
Out of nowhere, India stunned the hosts in the series opener with an absolute knockout display. Even though Kohli’s contributions were limited, his fearless approach denied that last laugh to Australia even albeit they were slowly crawling to an exceptionally fortunate escape.
However, it is much easier to win first than coming back from a heavy defeat with the entire nation making you culpable and then win again. When India was drubbed mercilessly in the second Test, Kohli ensured that all the critics were paid back in the exact same coin and India scripted history by beating Australia again in the third Test.
Comebacks aren’t easy. They will never be. In order to make a comeback, one needs to be fearless, brash, think out of the box and most importantly challenge the obvious. All these aspects manifold themselves by leaps and bounds when it is the king itself.
Kohli dovetailed all of these qualities and India penned history Down Under. Maybe Rohit will be a better captain than Kohli but has he got what it needs to prise a team out of consuming flames and put them on the firm tracks of pride and history?
Numbers are a blatant lie and yet for Kohli, somehow even they refused to reveal that treacherous nature of theirs. Kohli finished his captaincy stint as the most successful Indian Test captain with 41 international victories under his belt.
Maybe, the Hitman will take India to other levels altogether, yet, when you look back at that well-trimmed bearded face, smiling at you, you will not hesitate to whisper, “Kuch toh baat thi ismein, jo puri duniya bhi isse darti thi (There was something about this man that the entire world was afraid of him).”