Virat Kohli is one of the all times greatest batsmen. He has broken several batting records and stands as the lone contender to break Sachin’s record of 100 international hundreds.
Captain Kohli, who revolutionized the fitness standards of the Indian cricket team, should be given credit for building one of the fittest teams in modern-day cricket.
A captain is as good as his team, we say. At the same time, he is also responsible for getting the best out of the players. Virat Kohli, similarly, must be given credit for building a young team and getting the best out of his players.
Let’s look at the top 5 players who flourished under his captaincy.
1. Jasprit Bumrah
Bumrah made his debut under MS Dhoni’s captaincy, but he has played most of his international matches under Virat. Bumrah is very important for India’s success and is always an automatic choice in every format for the team.
But early in his career, Bumrah was regarded as a white-ball specialist and not considered for test matches. Virat Kohli showed faith in him, and we all know how Jasprit responded to his captain. Jasprit became the first Asian to pick up five-wicket hauls in a test match in South Africa, Australia, England, and the West Indies, all of them coming on his first tours.
2. Mohammed Shami
Shami played for India for the first time in 2013 and had a dream start to his career. He was a part of the World Cup squad as well in 2015. But he was always struggling with injuries and had missed out on most of the series.
He worked hard, made a comeback in the team before WC 2019, had a terrific run heading into the tournament. Shami picked up 14 wickets in 4 games in the World Cup 2019, at an average of 13.78 and a brilliant strike rate of 15.
Now, just like Bumrah, he is the first-choice player in the Indian team today. Shami credits Kohli for supporting him throughout his journey full of ebbs and flows. Kohli showed immense support to Shami when he was struggling due to injuries and issues in his personal life also.
Virat gave him enough opportunities, and the result is out for everyone to see. In the recent test matches he has played, Shami has been India’s premier fast bowler, both on away tours and home series.
3. Mohammed Siraj
Since the Australian tour in early January this year, Siraj has achieved great heights. He had a dream run after he made his debut in Sydney. Siraj led the pace attack in the very next game at Brisbane, where he took his first 5-for in international cricket.
In the first half of the yet-to-be-completed IPL in 2021, Siraj impressed everyone with his superb bowling. From bowling economically in the powerplay to hitting the blockhole at the death, he left everyone in awe.
Siraj feels thankful to Kohli for reposing faith in him during his poor run in the 2018 IPL season. He praised Kohli for his support throughout the Australian tour when he had lost his father, which helped the youngster leave a mark at the international level early in his career.
4. Yuzvendra Chahal
Chahal was picked in the Indian team after the 2017 Champions Trophy as he replaced Ravichandran Ashwin after a dry run during the tournament. Chahal started playing for Virat Kohli’s RCB in 2014 and was early to impress the captain. He performed consistently in the IPL and earned a place in the Indian team. Chahal somehow owes his international career to Virat.
Chahal, along with Kuldeep Yadav, picked a lot of wickets for the Indian team during 2017-19. Kuldeep is no longer a regular feature, but Chahal has managed to retain his place.
Overall, he has taken 92 wickets for India in the ODIs at a healthy economy of 5.20. In the T20 format, he is India’s highest wicket-taker with 62 wickets at an average of 25.40.
5. Devdutt Padikkal
Devdutt Padikkal is a young rising star in India. He played for Karnataka at the domestic level, and before the 2020 auction, the 19-year-old had a stellar show with the bat. Despite being someone who had been in the headlines for his performances in domestic tournaments, Padikkal got picked just at his base price of ₹20 lakhs. It meant that no other team apart from RCB was interested in him.
Captain Kohli made him part of the playing 11 in every fixture of RCB, and the resultant was fantastic. Padikkal turned out to be the team’s highest run-getter in 2020, as he scored 473 runs in 15 matches. Recently, in the first half of the 2021 season, Padikkal scored his first IPL century, going berserk against the Rajasthan Royals. Playing under Kohli, the youngster flourished, and the result is that now he is in line for his debut for India on the Sri Lanka tour.
Virat Kohli deserves the credit for giving the youngster an opportunity in the RCB side for all the matches in the 2020 season. Padikkal made the most out of the chances, and we hope that he repeats his performances on the Sri Lanka tour, too.