Royal-Challengers-Bangalore-captain-Virat-Kohli-celebrates-after-scoring-a-century
Virat has 5 half-centuries and 2 centuries to his name in IPL 9 © AFP

Of late County teams have been using ‘#ProperCricket’ in their tweets just to compare the quality of cricket they produce compared to Indian Premier League’s (IPL). Indeed we have had too much of T20 cricket and are undoubtedly bored of IPL. However, County and IPL produce different types of entertainment: while one is for traditionalists who like to applaud after a boundary, the other is for those who like to shake a leg every time the ball goes soaring over the boundary line. And, then there’s Virat Kohli, who purely blends these aspects and compels the fans to watch the shortest format despite being overdosed. Full Scorecard: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians, IPL 2016, Match 41 at Bangalore

Kohli took the cricketing world by storm with his breathtaking innings against Australia in the recently concluded World T20. Like a true champion, he kept scaling new heights and continued his stellar show in IPL 9 as well. In fact, he did not even have a T20 century to his name until Sachin Tendulkar’s 43rd birthday. There couldn’t have been occasion than this. Like his shots, he timed this feat to perfection.

He has scored five half-centuries and two unbeaten centuries in nine IPL contests. With 561 runs under his belt, he is currently the owner of Orange Cap. What’s even more surprising is that he is 92 runs ahead of David Warner, who is second in the list and has played one match more.

Chris Gayle and Michael Hussey plundered 733 runs in IPL 5 and 6 respectively. With 5 matches still to be played and given the form Kohli is in, we won’t be taken aback if he surpasses this record. Sanath Jayasuriya beats Virat Kohli in ODI GOAT; will take in Sachin Tendulkar in semi-final

Until this season, Kohli did not make full of the crease. Every time he faced pacers, he stood well outside the crease and took the bowlers to the cleaner on the front foot. But, in this summer, he approached different tactic and played as late as he could. Kohli was on 96 after 19.5 overs against Gujarat Lions (GL). He had only 1 ball to score 4 runs to reach his maiden T20 hundred. Dwayne Bravo bowled right in the block hole outside off. And, despite muscling it, he deliberately opened the face of the bat and cleared short third man and roared like a mighty lion.

Rarely has he slogged in this season. He drove down the ground every time a pacer bowled full and straight. He played square of the wicket when width on offer. He shimmied down the ground to disturb bowler’s rhythm. In fact, he took apart the best of the bowlers.

He’s a rare talent. He thrives under pressure and makes the most of it like no other. His celebrations may contradict to the ones in 70s and 80s, but he still believes in playing ‘proper cricket’.

(Kaustubh S. Mayekar, a reporter at CricketCountry, played cricket at U-16 level. Like his idol Rahul Dravid, he often shadow-practises cricket shots. His Twitter handle is @kaumedy_)