Virat Kohli’s former Delhi teammate Punit Bisht recalled the emotional Ranji match when the former India captain came out to bat for his team hours after his father’s demise. Virat was very close to his father Prem Kohli as he often talked about him at public platforms. His father, a lawyer, suffered a brain stroke in the middle of the night when Kohli was just 17-year-old. It was an emotional moment for the charismatic batsman but he displayed some sheer determination towards the game and went to the field to save the match for his team.
Bisht, who was not out alongside Kohli ahead of the day’s play, revealed that when he entered the dressing room on the third day of the match against Karnataka back in 2006, there was deafening silence all around and sitting in a corner was a 17-year-old Kohli, eyes all welled up.
Bisht heaped praise on Kohli’s courage and said the whole team was numb at his tragedy but the 17-year-old was ready to face the opposition bowlers.
“To this day I wonder, how in the world did he muster the courage to drop in at the ground. We were all numb at his tragedy and here the boy was standing in the dressing room and ready to go out and bat,” Bisht told PTI.
He further remembered that then Delhi skipper Mithun Manhas and coach Chetan Chauhan had told him to go home as his father’s last rites were not performed but the gritty Kohli didn’t want Delhi to lose a batter in the crucial game.
“Mind it, his father’s last rites hadn’t been performed and he had just come because he didn’t want his team to lose a batter as we were not in a great position,” Bisht tried to remember the events of the following morning.
“Chetan sir, if memory doesn’t serve me wrong, was our coach that season. Both Chetan sir and Mithun bhai told Virat to go home as they were not sure whether it would be a prudent idea to let the kid go out there in a tense situation and how he would mentally cope up, ” he added.
Bisht, once Delhi’s premier wicketkeeper, who now plays as a professional for Meghalaya, hailed the former Indian skipper and said he’s made of different stuff.
“Trust me, no one in the team even had a second thought that he should go back and be with his family and take his own time to grieve. But this is Virat Kohli we are talking about. He was made of different stuff,” Bisht said.
The batting maestro came a long way in international cricket as he is regarded as one of the best batters to ever play the game. On March 4, Kohli will play his 100th Test match for India which in itself is a remarkable feat.
Virat Kohli has played several match-winning knocks in Tests
In the Test arena too, Virat Kohli has set the stage on fire. The batting behemoth has scored 7 double centuries, the most by an Indian willow wielder in Tests. Out of the many ravishing knocks from Kohli in the whites, some of them stand out for the class and authority that he exhibited out in the middle.
The 254* that he plundered against South Africa in the year 2019 is one that will rank as one of the most eye-catching knocks played by an Indian batsman in Test matches at home. The Delhi born batting colossus faced 336 deliveries, and scored an unbeaten 254 to allow India to pile up a total of 601 runs on the board, and helped his side to trounce the Proteas by an innings and 137 runs.
Also, another Virat Kohli special that will stay in our memories is the 235 that he scored at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai against England in 2016. Coming in with the scorecard reading 146/2, Kohli took on the England bowling attack consisting of James Anderson, Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid to score a magical double ton. His exploits with the willow allowed India to thrash the England side by an innings and 36 runs.
Now, with England once again visiting Indian shores, the Indian captain will be raring to go and pile up some massive scores. In the table below, let us take a look at all of Kohli’s centuries in Test and ODI cricket.