As Virat Kohli went about building his innings against an unrelenting New Zealand attack in the World Test Championship (WTC) final in Southampton, a story emerged over Twitter that reflects the Indian skipper’s passion, desire and willingness to improve.
Kohli, talked about more for his aggression and in-your-face attitude on the field, has had his quiet and composed streak often flying under the radar. The great Indian right-hand batsman is one of the most hardworking cricketers, who has fine-tuned many chinks along the way and found a way to prosper across all forms and conditions.
One such story of Virat Kohli’s admirable traits, the quality to not shy away from a challenge and constantly learn and evolve was brought to light on Saturday (June 19).
Ajit Ramamurthy, who is part of the social media team in Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), which Kohli leads in the IPL, recalled an incident from the last year’s edition of the popular league in UAE. Even during a net session in Dubai, Kohli stood out among the rest for his body language and enthusiasm to prepare on a difficult wicket.
When Virat Kohli got excited looking at a net surface during IPL 2020
“We were given what was the greenest looking wicket I’ve seen in the UAE,” Ramamurthy tweeted. “Steyn, Siraj, Saini, Sakaria and the other net bowlers were obviously excited and running in full steam with new balls (albeit white). The ball was zipping around, there was good bounce and a couple of batsmen even got hit on the body (didn’t cause any injury).”
“It wasn’t the kind of wicket you see in the T20 format, so I assumed the batsmen might not quite fancy it in the middle of an ongoing tournament, because a bad session might have a negative effect.”
“I was wrong”, added Ramamurthy, as Virat Kohli took up the challenge with a “smile on his face” and had no issues batting on a surface that wouldn’t prepare him for the next IPL much but offered an opportunity to further tighten up his defensive technique and basics of the game.
“‘Proper wicket, proper Test cricket wicket, I’m loving it,’ he kept saying while he enjoyed leaving the balls, taking the bowlers on, encouraging their good bowling and giving tips to the other batsmen in the adjacent nets!”
Virat looked at the wicket and had a smile on his face! “Proper wicket, proper Test cricket wicket, I’m loving it,” he kept saying while he enjoyed leaving the balls, taking the bowlers on, encouraging their good bowling and giving tips to the other batsmen in the adjacent nets!
— Ajith Ramamurthy (@Ajith_tweets) June 19, 2021
The story shows how Kohli loves the hard grind and is happy to put his ego aside for the larger goal. These qualities were in play on Day 2 at the Ageas Bowl where he batted with an amazing level of restraint for his 44 not out off 124 deliveries in very challenging conditions against an attack made to perfectly exploit those.