ANI Photo | “The comeback king, you reinvented the wheel”: Aakash Chopra on Virat Kohli

Hailing Virat Kohli as the “comeback king,” former Indian opener Aakash Chopra said with his ‘Player of the Tournament’ performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup last year, Kohli “reinvented the wheel”.
Virat will be in action during the India’s home series against England, consisting of five Test matches from January 25 onwards. The star batter faced a brief slump in form from 2020-end which lasted till late 2022, a period during which he could not score even a single century. But since the Asia Cup 2022, Virat has delivered power-packed and consistent performances that earned him the moniker of ‘King’ early in his career.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Aakash said that a player goes up, falls and it is important how many times he climbs back again. The former opener also pointed out that at one point, fans and experts had started to write off Virat.
“The comeback king. You go up but then fall. Everyone has to fall but the important thing is how many times someone can climb back again. He fell once in 2011-12 but then he stood up. After that, he reigned for eight to ten years. There was not a blip at all,” said Aakash.
“That was one blip after which he probably decided – ‘Never again’. He (Virat) played with the commitment continuously but then it came again during COVID, when he was not scoring runs. He had not scored a century for a long time. He missed quite a few matches and many people had written him off,” he added.
Aakash even pointed out how even he himself said that Virat had lost his spot in the modern-day Fab Four, a batting quartet of England’s Joe Root, Australia’s Steve Smith, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson and Virat, who are considered the best batters of the modern era. But now, Kohli has earned back his place.
The former opener also said that the way Virat made his comeback is beautiful and the World Cup ‘Player of the Tournament’ performance is an “icing on the cake”.
“Yours truly also said that he (Kohli) is no longer part of the Fab 4. He is now, by the way. It was about the runs at that time, in that period of two years, but he is back again. Steve Smith has fallen away. Kane Williamson is also going 50-50 but this guy is still there. He was there then also and has returned now,” said Aakash.
“The way he has made a comeback has made the story even more beautiful. It seemed like things were done and dusted and you came and played a World Cup, and became the Player of the Tournament. You reinvented the wheel once again and reignited that passion,” concluded Aakash.
Since the Asia Cup 2022, Virat has gone from struggling for runs to topping the run charts. Since August 27, 2022, which was the starting date of the tournament, Virat has scored 3,007 runs in 59 matches and 63 innings at an average of 58.96, with 10 centuries and 17 half-centuries. His best score is 186.
During this run, he also broke two monumental records. He toppled his childhood idol Sachin Tendulkar to become the first-ever player with 50 ODI tons. With 765 runs in 11 ICC CWC matches last year at an average of above 95 with three centuries and six fifties, Virat became the player with most runs in a single World Cup edition. (ANI)

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