Happy Birthday, Kohli: How an Aggressive Boy From Delhi Turned into India's Favourite Cricketer
All hail the King.
File image AFP.
From winning the U-19 World Cup in 2008 to leading the Indian cricket team, the Delhi boy has come a really long way. Kohli, who recently became the fastest batsman to hit the 10000 milestone in ODI, also shattered several records in the endeavour. If you are into numbers - 112, 46 not out, 160 not out, 75, 36, 129 not out, 75, 45, 71, 140, 157 not out, 107, 16, 33 not out – these are his ODI scores in 2018.
And when it comes to giving it back with words or gestures, Kohli's aggression has often landed him in a spot. Remember when he lost his cool and hurled abuses at a journalist? Or when he gave the home crowd a middle finger treatment during the second Test against Australia in 2012?
But over the years and with the added responsibility on his shoulders to lead the national side, Kohli has used aggression to better his game and turned those haters into fans. Even the 'God' of cricket believes so. “I noticed that spark and aggression in him, something which many guys were not fond of to be very honest. And there were many guys who were criticizing him for that. And today that has become the strength of the Indian team,” said maestro Sachin Tendulkar while speaking an event last year.
As Kohli turns a year old on Monday, let us relive the light-hearted moments when the Delhi boy stuck to his roots and displayed humility and immense character - that has helped him transform from a hostile cricketer to a mature leader that he is today.
1) Stood by his better half
When Kohli failed, it was his then-girlfriend who faced the heat. Bollywood actress and Kohli's wife Anushka Sharma often became the target of social media trolls every time her better half underperformed on the field.
The cricketer came out in defence of Sharma and wrote, "Shame on those people who have been having a go at anushka for the longest time and connecting every negative thing to her. Shame on those people calling themselves educated. Shame on blaming and making fun of her when she has no control over what i do with my sport. If anything she has only motivated and given me more positivity. [sic]"
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Shame on those people who have been having a go at anushka for the longest time and connecting every negative thing to her. Shame on those people calling themselves educated. Shame on blaming and making fun of her when she has no control over what i do with my sport. If anything she has only motivated and given me more positivity. This was long time coming. Shame on these people that hide and take a dig. And i dont need any respect for this post. Have some compassion and respect her. Think of how your sister or girlfriend or wife would feel if someone trolled them and very conveniently rubbished them in public. #nocompassion#nocommonsense
2) Selfie with a young fan
When a young fan of Kohli requested him for a picture, "Virat, a picture please", the cricketer responded with a selfie outside of Trent Bridge cricket stadium in England's Nottingham earlier this year.
#WATCH: Indian cricket team Captain Virat Kohli takes a selfie with a child after he was continuously requesting "Virat, a picture please" outside Trent Bridge cricket stadium in England's Nottingham. #INDvsENG pic.twitter.com/ngKsEVXjwd
— ANI (@ANI) August 22, 2018
Here's the selfie:
— NK (@KambojnitinNk) August 22, 2018
3) Ishant Sharma's on-field antics had Kohli in splits
Last year, after suffering an embarrassing loss in the first Test match against the Aussies, and being reduced to less than 200 runs in the first innings of the second test, Indian pacers got back at the visitors by sledding them. Ishant Sharma, who was pumped up, tried to unsettle skipper Steve Smith.
Kohli, who is a regular sight in such heated exchanges, was seen laughing hard in the backdrop. Watch his reaction here:
4) Using all that aggression on the dance floor
If you haven't seen him dancing, you have seen nothing. Kohli believes in the work hard and party harder theory.
5) Kohli's response to a journalist
Kohli displayed a different side of him during a press conference a couple of years ago. After hitting his maiden double century against Windies in the 1st test match in Antigua, Anil Kumble and captain Kohli addressed a press conference. While addressing the press meet, one of the reporters raised a question, addressing Kohli as 'Sir'. To which Kohli politely responded by saying, "Please don't call me sir. You are elder than me. Call me Kohli."
Watch the video here:
6) Bowing before the God himself
As the world draws comparisons between little master and the modern day legend, Kohli doesn't let the records come in his way. After his fighting performance that propelled his team to a crucial win against the arch-rivals Pakistan in the World Twenty 20 in 2016, Kohli bowed down to Sachin Tendulkar.
Image credits: PTI
Kohli's crucial 50 helped India seal the match against Pakistan by 6 wickets. As for Tendulkar, who was seated in the stands, he absolutely loved the heartwarming gesture.
Great Win Team India. Thank you for the innings and gesture @imVkohli! #IndvsPak (1/2)
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) March 19, 2016
7) When he adopted 15 canines
Last year, Kohli visited the Charlie's Animal Rescue Centre (CARE) in Bengaluru and adopted rescue dogs, including those who were paraplegic and chronically ill.
"It was simply unbelievable this morning to see Virat Kohli's car pulling up inside the gates of CARE. His love for dogs is common knowledge, and the fact that we happened to witness it in its purest form was a wonderful, indescribable feeling. He met Dash at the reception, said hello to Captain, walked around the entire place, keenly listening to our Founder trustee Miss Sudha Narayanan and Dr Lohith talk about CARE," read the Facebook post.
"He met our adoption pups George and Snowy and said in no uncertain terms that rescued is his favourite breed. He hoped people would understand that it's always better to adopt than to shop for a companion pet. He also passively adopted 15 dogs at CARE and expressed that we choose those 15 that have special needs, that are paraplegic, blind and chronically ill."
Image credits: CARE/Facebook
Such is the craze around the right-handed batsman, a fan breached security during an IPL match to click a selfie with Kohli.
Royal Challengers Bangalore took on Delhi Daredevils in a match held at Ferozeshah Kotla earlier this year. The fan had to be finally dragged off the field by security as RCB continued their chase against DD and finally won the game by five wickets.
Taking to Instagram, a fan posted a video which read: “Didn't I tell you? He doesn't has Fans, He has Devotees. 🙏❤ And also when the security took him away Vee was like Be careful Be careful! How sweet! ❤ And still ppl call him egoistic and Selfish! Those ppl can rather die instead of speaking Shit about such a genuine personality. 🔥❤” [sic]
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Didn't I tell you? He doesn't has Fans, He has Devotees. 🙏❤ And also when the security took him away Vee was like Be careful Be careful! How sweet! ❤ And still ppl call him egoistic and Selfish! Those ppl can rather die instead of speaking Shit about such a genuine personality. 🔥❤ . . . @virat.kohli #vee #virat #kohli #viratkohli #kohlivirat #anushkasharma #anushka #nushkie #couplegoals #cutest #babe #virushka #virushkaforever #virushkalove #virushkawedding #viratians #proudviratian #extremelyvirat #viratians #love #loveu #runmachine #cheeku Video credits:- @sureshraina.addicts
Image credits: AFP
Kohli, who debuted in ODI against Sri Lanka in 2008 has amassed 10232 runs in 208 innings with 38 centuries and 48 half centuries at an average of 59.84.
While he donned the Test hat against Windies in 2011 with 6331 runs to his name in 124 innings. With 24 hundreds in the Test format, Kohli has scored at a staggering 54.58 batting average.
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