You can never start an article about Virat Kohli’s performance or about him, without using superlatives, and dazzling words taken from Charles Dicken’s book. On good days, he doesn’t perform like humans but like God, looks as pleasing to the eyes as snow-laden peaks. He has represented an era of Indian cricket, where he was the rock; A rock strong enough to withstand any storm, however strong, or ferocious it may be.
A brilliant epitome of grit, determination, persistence, and consistency, Virat wowed the world and gained the fan-following alien to cricketers, reserved for footballers or baseball players. He was rated alongside, some of the greats of the sport like Messi, Ronaldo, and Le-Bron James. Well, for the last couple of years, though he has been a tame shadow of himself, a sub-par cricketer against his standards, and a poor batsman by his records. Someone who could score a century half asleep is struggling to post the 30s.
But, is it the beginning of the End or just a pit stop in the race?
A well-oiled machine, Kohli has hit the biggest speed-breaker of his lengthy career. And, the road isn’t smooth ahead. With your growing age, your reflexes slow down; you aren’t as agile as you would want yourself to be, and most importantly, you aren’t as lucky as you were. So, the shots which used to go for sixes go straight to hands, inside-edges bang the stumps and the ball finds edges too frequently.
A well-oiled machine, Kohli has hit the biggest speed-breaker of his lengthy career. And, the road isn’t smooth ahead.
Isn’t this what all the greats go through? Alistair cook had to endure this, Sachin too went through and even MS Dhoni wasn’t oblivious to this. But history hasn’t been kind to any of the greats post their 33(Age at which Virat is), and there are very few late bloomers till now. They all went through a prolonged mediocrity before hanging their boots.
Barring a game or two, where these players looked like their younger selves, it looked more like a struggle for the majority post 33/34. Like we saw him firing up last night against Gujarat Titans. This was probably his best performance in IPL 2022 The whole stadium was on its feet as Virat kept hitting the ball all over the stadium with his bat. This was extremely unexpected for everyone but it did manage to buy Royal Challengers Bangalore a little time until the results.
Hence the hope of seeing him firing again and again(like earlier), may not come true, but we do hope he just doesn’t become a distant shadow of young Virat.
We all know and have lived this line, Form is temporary, Class is permanent, and do hope that’s the same with Virat. But, in the back of our minds, we all know it’s impossible to be young Virat again. Young, fearless, chase-master, with the array of shots as vast as the pacific ocean, cover drives as soothing as Mussorie’s weather again, we all have lived with young Virat.