As the 4th Test match between India and England begins all eyes are on Virat Kohli. Kohli has been leading the charge as well as dealing with the immense pressure the fans and critics have put on him. In the three Test matches, Kohli has been able to score two magnificent centuries. This has silenced all the doubters after the nightmare performance Kohli gave in 2014 on English Soil.
Even after a stellar performance in all three matches, eyes have been on Kohli for his captaincy skills and his selection skills. All this has led former England skipper Alec Stewart to believe that the pressure on Virat at the moment is higher than it was on the great Sachin Tendulkar during his era. The similarities between Sachin and Kohli are plenty. From a deep love and passion for the sport to fighting lone battles for the team and to being India’s last hope in matches.
Not to forget they both represent a country of 1.4 billion people. That is 1.3 billion expectations and the way Sachin dealt with it and how Kohli is dealing with it is a tribute to those same people. One of the main reasons why the pressure of expectations is higher now is the accessibility. Back in Sachin’s time, not everyone had a TV or radio. Now everyone has access to the internet, social media etc, Stewart explained.
People know exactly what is happening moments after it happens. The spotlight so to say is greater now and not to forget, everyone has an opinion about the person standing under it. Stewart also talked about Kohli after Lord’s. Even though he was heavily criticised and slammed on social media, he (Kohli) lead his team to a huge comeback at Trent Bridge. Kohli was able to score 103 and 97 runs respectively in the two innings. This along with the brilliant contribution of the bowlers sealed the deal for the hosts.
Stewart praised the 29-year old captain as well deserving of the title ‘the best in the world’ as he earned it. He also praised India’s fielding during the Trent Bridge match and named KL Rahul for being the stand out with around seven huge catches.
Lastly, he praised the captain one more time saying under his leadership, team India has become more competitive and proud unit. Had it not been for Kohli, India would have lost this series. Kohli’s batting has been exceptional and the bowlers were in the perfect grove at Trent Bridge.