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Padma Shri At 28, Virat Kohli: A Look Back At The ‘Virat’ Story Of The Aggressive Indian Captain

Scroll Cafe Team

Brash, volatile and insanely talented, Virat Kohli has emerged as a superstar of the cricketing world. The ability to change shots at the last moment and the way he executes his slog-flick with a perfect nonchalance, Kohli has carved a niche of his own in the international cricket arena.

With a hundred coming up every other day, this young man has been very consistent in the past couple of years and has won matches for the team single-handedly. His maturity and controlled aggression added to his improved performance under difficult situations have christened him among his fans. For him, the tougher the challenge, the better he performs. 

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The most consistent top order batsman, Virat Kohli, over the years, has managed to become the supreme force in the India’s batting line-up. His magnificent batting skills have won him laurels, awards and appreciations. But this time, it’s grand as the young skipper received the Padma Shri from the honourable President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee.

On this day, when the world stands in respect of this young Indian talent, here’s a look back at the ‘Virat’ story of the most talented Indian Captain.

With a family that believed in him and a coach who trusted his potentials, Virat has exhibited meteoric rise from a young boy learning to pick up his bat to the Under-19 World Cup winning team captain to winning the ICC World Cup to being the Captain of the Indian national cricket team.

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Born to a criminal lawyer dad, Prem Kohli and a homemaker mom, Saroj Kohli, Virat is the youngest of the Delhi-based Kohli family. He and his elder sibling Vikas joined West Delhi Cricket Academy under the guidance of Rajkumar Sharma. A true mentor and guide, Mr. Sharma has been a close confidante of Virat in his formative years grooming the batting skills of the young Kohli for years.

Having started his cricketing career at age 9, Virat worked extremely hard to cement his position in Delhi Under-15 team for Polly Umrigar Trophy in 2002. In 2003–04, he was made the captain of the team. Later, he was selected for the Under 17 team followed bythe  Under 19 Indian cricket team.

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His passion for cricket grew with every passing year as his batting performance kept on improving. Life was good when this tragic incident happened in Virat’s life. He lost his dad, the sole bread-earner of the family. On the same day, he had his Ranji match and he was sad and broke. He called his coach Rajkumar Sharma to ask whether he should go for the match. He was just 18, then.

In an interview, Mr. Sharma said, “Virat’s father was a very nice human being. He was also very dear to me. He was a very passionate cricket fan. I was out of India when he (Virat Kohli) called me. He was crying when he told me the news. I asked him what he thinks he should be doing, and his response was ‘I think I should play’. I encouraged him and told him that this is the time to show your character. That was the biggest thing any cricketer could have done - his father’s body was at home and he went to play for his state.”

Such is his passion for cricket and his sense of duty. This increases his value and respect manifold. With more responsibilities on his young shoulders now, Kohli began taking the game even more seriously. In 2008, he led the Indian team to victory at the 2008 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup held in Malaysia. Following this, he was bought by the Indian Premier League franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore, for $30,000. Ever since then, he never looked back. 

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Kohli was inducted in the Indian ODI squad for the Sri Lanka tour in 2008. And, the rest is HISTORY. After 9 years of his Under-19 world cup, he has made a legacy of himself. With a record of most centuries (14) in successful chases in just 174 matches and new ones coming every other day, Kohli is now a top-notch batsman of the world cricket.

He won the ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2012 and the BCCI's international cricketer of the year for the 2011–12 and 2014–15 seasons. He received the Arjuna Award in 2013 in recognition of his achievements in international cricket. 

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Not only is Kohli a good cricketer, but also his mom’s son and a loving boyfriend to the Indian diva Anushka Sharma.

 

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Virat Kohli started a charity foundation called 'Virat Kohli Foundation' (VKF), in 2013, for helping underprivileged children. The foundation also conducts events to raise funds for charitable causes.

Talking about Virat’s love for young players like him, Vikas said, “Growing up, we came from nowhere. Life wasn’t always easy and Virat remembers that. He is always doing what he can to give back. When he returns from long tours, he has a lot of cricket equipment that he will not need again. He ensures he carries it all to cricket academies to distribute to junior players. It’s equipment they may not be able to afford yet and it also gets them inspired”.

The stylish right-hand batsman is a deeply hammered nail across all formats of cricket. At times, he has been a one-man team and has shown his mettle in difficult conditions. Standing among the top ten most hundred scorers, Kohli is the only one with an average above 50 (51.89). With a number of accolades under his belt including Padma Shri, the Indian skipper is all determined to take his opponents head on.

We congratulate the King of Chases, Virat for this new feat. Hope he does extremely well as a batsman and the captain of the Indian cricket team. Full of energy, this young man seems to be the next Sachin of Indian cricket or maybe the first “Virat Kohli”.

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