The Indian cricket team had a very successful 2016, courtesy of which goes to the team’s brilliant exuberance, grit, determination, self-belief and the will to win. And as India was scheduled to play more Test cricket than ODIs and T20s, the attention shifted more towards Test captain Virat Kohli. The flamboyant Delhi-lad loves to be in the limelight and it was no surprise that he led his team to victories in back-to-back 5 Test series, continuing the good form India had been in Tests since 2015.
This year, India won 2-0 against West Indies in West Indies, 3-0 against New Zealand and 4-0 against England, both at home, making it the country’s most successful year in Test cricket and justifying their numero uno status in the ICC Test rankings. Captain Virat Kohli played a big part in this success story, as cricket pundits see a combination of great captaincy and brilliant batting prformance from him. Two times more aggressive as a captain than Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian cricket captain himself admittesd this in a recent program, while there is also a reflection of Sachin Tendulkar’s batting in Virat, as the Indian cricket great had already said that Virat is certain to break some of his records, before he hung his boots.
The Indian run-machine has broken records after records this year, thanks to a deadly mix of aggression, flamboyance and maturity. The three double centuries which he made in three back-to-back series, was enough to identify the genius’ batting exploits, as he threatens to break many old records, one after the other. The most notable thing was Virat tremendously improved his batting average in Tests, moving from 44 to 50, in a span of 12 months. He also propelled into 3rd position in the ICC Batsmen rankings in Tests.
Apart from Tests, Virat had incredible success in the shorter formats of the game too, averaging over 100 in T20s, and continued his fine form in ODIs too, scoring 739 runs in 10 ODIs. He continued to remain at the top in T20 rankings with a prolific average of 57 and ranked 2nd in the ODI rankings with an average of 53.
Going into 2017, Virat Kohli would be looking to continue his purple-patch, and his mantra would be the same, to continue to plunder runs and tons. Thus, fans can expect fireworks to continue in 2017. However, expecting that Virat Kohli’s ride was as smooth as some of his strokes, then one might be mistaken. In an open letter to his fans, Kohli reveals how he sometimes plunges into taking a risk without being totally sure of the outcome.
In his letter addressing the fans, Virat wrote, “Somehow, people believe I know exactly what I am doing, that I know for sure how my decisions are going to turn out. And given the recent successes on the pitch, that belief is now probably sweeping the nation. But here’s the truth: I don’t.”
Recalling his brave decision to risk defeat while going for a win in the Adelaide Test in 2014, the 28-year-old Test captain clearly stated that he would do the same thing again if a similar situation arises in future. Kohli made centuries in both innings in the Adelaide Test. Kohli writes, “Like at the Adelaide test, exactly two years ago. Instead of settling for a draw against the Australians, we pushed for a win. And lost. We could have changed history that day, but we didn’t. But do I regret making that move? Not one bit.”
While concluding, the Indian Test captain shared his mantra for 2017 and the upcoming season against Australia (Home Test series). The captain is confident as he writes, “So, here’s my mantra for the New Year: I will do what I have always done – follow my instincts and make my own choices. Kyunki kise pata kal hum kaunsi manzil, kaunse mukaam payenge? Par ek baat zaroor hai – agar bold nahin khelenge, toh kabhi na jaan paenge.” (Because who knows tomorrow which destiny, which status we will achieve? But one thing is for sure, if we won’t play boldly, we will never be able to know it.)