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Virat Kohli: His Evolution From King To Emperor

Source: ICC Cricket

When Fox Cricket coined him the King, I thought it was a fantastic marketing gimmick, but a little hyperbolic nonetheless. However, when Virat Kohli's Team India sealed the deal in Sydney, it dawned on me that calling him the King might be doing him a disservice. Virat Kohli is conquering cricket at a rate that puts him on track to becoming the Emperor. If, he can do one thing.

I'll come back to that one thing, but first understand that there are three two accomplishments that distinguish wheat from the chaff kings from emperors:
  1. A king rules one "country" or "nation"; an emperor rules over many; and
  2. A king normally rules by birthright; an emperor normally rules by conquest.
  3. Having every man of Indian descent feel obliged to refer to your wife as "Bhabhi".
Kohli has already conquered the lesser Test playing nations and you'll be well aware of his most recent achievement. He's already the most successful Indian captain, winning the equal most away tests, in fewer attempts.

The juicy scalps missing from his list of conquests, test series wins in England and South Africa, have seemed out of reach, in perception and in reality, for most of Kohli's predecessors. I put it to you that these blots on his record will also be erased within the next 4 years.

You might sit there thinking, "jeez, that's a big call." I'll tell you why it's not. Kohli's modus operandi and path to success is a great guide about why I'll be right:
  • He failed on hi first trip to Australia. He came back 4 years later, scored four centuries in his first series as full-time captain. A 2-0 series result could easily have been 1-1 or 0-2 with a little more support from his teammates. Then he did the unimaginable in 2018/19.
  • His batting was an abject failure on the 2014 trip to England, a personal record that he promptly rectified in 2018. We all know that the eventual 4-1 result doesn't tell the real story of how close this series actually was. Again, the team needed merely another ounce of nous and fortitude to completely turn the final series tally on its head.
  • He's never failed personally on South African tours. The 2018 was a classic example of poor scheduling by the BCCI, because of which the South Africans were able to win the series before Team India had woken up.

Where past performance may not be a good guide to future performance for shares and superannuation funds, it definitely is for Virat Kohli. Each four year cycle brings us an even better Virat Kohli. But this is not why my prediction will be proved correct.

Each four year cycle proves that Virat Kohli improves as a leader of men. It's easy to improve yourself. But helping others become better versions of themselves is a concept that has eluded many great cricketers from the motherland. It is this commitment to continuous growth that will see Captain Kohli conquer lands that Team India fans like you will have thought impossible only a decade ago.

Temporary regressions and aberrations are a part of life. It may be hard to believe, but even King Kohli is a mere mortal and he will faces new challenges that will stretch his aptitude, leadership and fortitude. But the bloke clearly learns from his mistakes and ensures that his charges do the same.

My logic is undeniable, even to unbelievers among us. So before you accuse me of heinous crimes like being biased and bleeding blue, by no means am I contending that his evolution from king to emperor is complete, just that it is all but inevitable.

I well understand that the difference between Captain Kolhi's achievements now and at the end of his career will be the difference between wonderful and incredible.

Which is why I implore his naysayers to appreciate him for the unbridled joy he brings to our lives and forgive him for any flaws they may perceive in his ability or character (if not also for Bhabhi's choice of movies), because Royal gems like this one aren't born every day - not even if our land abounds in nature's gifts of beauty rich and rare.

Tell me I'm wrong.

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