In its unbridled form, Virat Kohli's brilliance can take down anything coming in its way © IANS
In its unbridled form, Virat Kohli’s brilliance can take down anything coming in its way © IANS

You cannot contain brilliance in its full vivaciousness. In its unbridled form, it can take down anything coming in its way. It can pulverise any bulwark, any phalanx that means to impede the flow. It is what you yearn to see, it is what everyone yearns to be — a juggernaut. Virat Kohli has been all this and so much more. He had more than one shot to every ball, he could pace his innings in the shortest format better than anyone else, he knew his A-game was finding the boundaries and later on, he worked a way to clear the ropes with ease.

Suddenly, you could see that T20 batting was no longer the trade for the big men from the island nations, or those who could play the ball to the uncommon haunts of the ground, standing on two feet or one or none. You could see that Kohli was in more than just a purple patch — he was having the year of his life. He was as fit as a fiddle, as quick as a hare, and as determined as ever. His batting made the ritual of a run-up and delivery stride a joke. You could seldom find a bowler sticking to his boardroom tactic. ALSO READ: Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers: Cricket’s own Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

To perform is player, to compare is fan. The cricket subjects suddenly got busy comparing him with Sachin Tendulkar, comparing 2016 with 1998. Columns have been published, some reasoning why Virat is the best, people have ever seen, with the bat, and some reasoning why such a comparison is foolhardy.

However, this should not stand testament to Kohli’s prowess and rich vein of form, even though the IPL might be the most striking memory from the summer of 2016. The M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru has killed contests even before they began. The ‘unholy’ nexus of Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Kohli, along with flat batting beauties (read pitches) has made it impossible for bowlers to get anything going their way for starters. The ball races away along the carpet before one could say Jack Robinson. The frailest of men can clear the ropes if they can launch the ball over a mere 60 meters. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have been lucky to have three powerhouses in the top order to either post a mammoth total or chase down any respectable total in their familiar ‘runscape’. ALSO READ: Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli: Two men of different eras

But this takes nothing away from the man. Kohli showed how he can adapt to big run chases in Australia. He showed how he can adapt to small run chases with a slithering left arm swing bowler on song during the Asia Cup T20 2016. He showed how he can adapt to almost any situation, be it the high-pressure run chase versus Australia in the World Cup group stage or the first innings cantering to post 190 on the board against West Indies in the semi-final.

But the truest test of Kohli’s batsmanship is yet to come. Batsmanship is an evolving consciousness, much akin to musicality and erudition. In a craft that is as autodidactic as batting is, time can work wonders, bigger wonders if it is with a keen student like Virat Kohli. Although he would want to bottle his present form and confidence levels, he would have to start over afresh when he plays Tests in the Caribbean in July. How he transitions is going to be crucial. Shots above the cover fielder would make way for the plain old prod along the ground for a humble single. His timeouts would come once in fifteen overs.

Gauging Kohli from his exuberance and the high standards he sets for himself, he would be itching to travel to England for Tests. It is one place where he has not scored freely, perishing soon enough to the artful clique of the English swing bowlers. He would also want to improve his surefootedness against spinners and play longer innings in the subcontinent with greater consistency.

With home series against England and New Zealand slated for later this year, and very good batsmen like Joe Root and Kane Williamson set to tour India, it would be a thrilling contest between different sets of capable spinners and master batsmen, and also, definitely, a time for fans and pundits to herald the best batsman of the world.

The world is watching you, Virat Kohli.

(Madhav Krishnan is a student from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (Hyderabad), pursuing M.Sc (Chemistry) and B.E. in Mechanical Engineering)