Those were quite sad moments for an 18-year-old, who having scored 40 overnight for Delhi against Rajasthan in a 2006 Ranji Trophy game realised that his father has passed away. Receiving the call from his home in Uttam Nagar, the young boy left his the team from where they were stayed and saw his world go completely up side down in the matter of a few hours.
But, the boy realised where his father would’ve more liked him to be and that is with his team and scoring runs for them. This is when he played an outstanding knock to help his team come out with a draw through a match-saving 90, just hours after his father Prem Kohli died. And that there, is how the journey for Virat Kohli started. Life toughens you up as go along but it thick-skinned the now Indian Captain, very early.
“It happened in my arms. It was 3 in the morning, and I was batting overnight. I was 40 not out, and I had to go in the morning and bat the next day because it was a four-day Ranji Trophy cricket.” said Virat in a to-be-aired television documentary on National Geographic, “We just couldn’t get help. We tried to get help from the neighbours, whoever we knew was a doctor. It was such a time of the night that no one responded. By the time ambulance and everything came, everything was already gone,”
“I think I became much more focussed after that [father’s death]. I lost total desire of wanting to do the other stuff and put all my energy into realizing my dream and my father’s dream as well,” he feels.
Even earlier in an interview with India Today, Kohli stated that this was the incident which changed him as a person completely and said, “The incident that has changed me is the first season in Ranji Trophy where my father had passed away and I had to go out and play. Unknowingly it made me the person I’m today,”
Now though, Virat has 6,147 runs across 71 Tests, 9,779 runs in 211 ODIs and 2,102 runs from 62 T20Is for the country and is already considered one of India’s most successful captains.
He also became the third ever Indian cricketer, after Sachin Tendulkar (1997-98) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2007), to win the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, recently.
The success hasn’t come easy at all to him, it is the journey that has made Virat Kohli what he is today.