Dear Virat Kohli,
First of all, I want to congratulate you on behalf of billions of Indians as your match winning performance against Pakistan etched some unforgettable memories in our hearts which we would treasure for a long time to come. I have been a cricket aficionado for over a decade now. And I haven’t witnessed any other rivalry as fiery as the one which takes place between India and Pakistan.
Yesterday when the mother of all battles was played on the Mecca of Indian cricket, Eden Gardens, the life of all the Indian cricket fans across the globe was glued to the match in one way or the other. And certainly, I am no exception. We have all grown up with a certain feeling that no matter what happens in any other field of life, when it comes to cricket, winning against Pakistan is a matter of life and death.
The Indo-Pak rivalry is the epitome of competition on the cricket field which fires up the 22 yards. The high-octane match and the action-packed Eden crowd could have intimidated any other player, but certainly not you. On a difficult pitch at which the other players struggled to get away, you made the bowlers dance to your tunes. And mind you, boy, those bowlers were no muck with the white cherry. The likes of Amir, Irfan, Sami, Riaz and Afridi can send chills down any batters spine, but not you, Kohli.
Chasing a stiff target of 119 runs, the Men in Blue were reeling at 23-3. Seeing all this, my heart had started pounding at the rate of knots. The very fear that India might possibly get eliminated from the tournament had started haunting me. The way the Pakistani bowlers were going about their business, it seemed they might pull a rabbit out of their hat and register their first even win against India in an ICC event after 10 failed attempts. The whole of India had suddenly started panicking.
But yet in our sights, there was a man in the frame who could take India home and undoubtedly, it was you. After the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, you have carried the heavy baggage of expectations of Indian batting on your broad shoulders in a way, like true legends do. After passing away of your father at an early age, you completely transformed in your life from a boy to a man, overnight. The way you shoulder the responsibility of the nation on the field, it shows how well you have matured on the 22 yards as well.
At the age of 27, not many can deal with so much of pressures on the field as well as you do. Your knock against Pakistan was precious in every sense possible. In your trademark way, you paced the chase in an artistic way. Particularly, the beautifully stroked cover drives were a treat on the eyes. You pulled up your socks when it was needed while you latched on to the loose balls like a boss. You made the chase look like a cakewalk on a difficult strip and that is where you stand tall in comparison to your peers. It also testifies that you are way ahead of your age.
This year, you are averaging a whopping 107 in T20 internationals while your average in chases is 83.60. These numbers are insane for 20-overs cricket. But you continue to win our hearts in countless ways and that is where my admiration for you reaches sky high level. The way you bowed down to honor the presence of Sachin at Edens gave goose bumps to the crowd at the city of joy as well as me. While, the gesture of gifting Amir your favorite bat added a new chapter of love and friendliness in the Indo-Pak rivalry.
I look up to you as a great inspiration and a person whose achievements pushes me to work harder in life with a lot of passion and self-belief. I hope you keep inspiring me and millions of people with your brilliance on the field and graciousness off the field. You are a youth icon and the hearth-throb of the nation, keep shining and winning further grandeur and laurels for the nation. Cheers!! Champ.
Your ardent fan,