His body is unaware that he will turn 34 in November. His physical condition is still that of a 25-year-old. If so, how do you account for a batsman of Kohli’s calibre bowling for about 30 minutes in the practice nets after destroying pretty much every frontline Indian bowler for about an hour?
Any cricket fan shouldn’t be shocked if Virat Kohli becomes formally associated with adjectives like vigour, endurance, and fitness in the future. Whether scoring runs or not, winning or losing, in the World Cup final or during a net session, Kohli’s intensity is unmatched, unfathomable, and incomprehensible at any given moment. If that energy were converted in a fictional universe, it presumably would be sufficient to illuminate a small town for a few hours. Kohli had hinted more than three years prior that he might never bowl in an international match again because of back problems. He hadn’t bowled in three years when this happened. Then, he was thirty. His body is unaware that he will turn 34 in November. His levels of fitness
If it is then, how do you explain a batsman of Kohli’s calibre hammering pretty much every frontline Indian bowler for over an hour on the eve of a series opener against Australia before bowling for nearly 30 minutes in the nets?
After making the remark about his back issue in June 2019, those who believed they had seen the last of Kohli’s bowling were in for a shock when the former India captain rolled his arms over against Hong Kong in the just finished Asia Cup. The next home series against Australia and South Africa may come as an even bigger surprise to those who thought there wasn’t much to be read into that over.
Prior to the series-opening T20 against Australia in Mohali, Kohli was back with his cross-legged, nearly wrong-footed bowling on Monday. Would he prefer to position himself as a potential sixth or seventh bowling option for Rohit Sharma, much like he has done as the third opener? That is impossible to say with certainty. In recent years, Kohli has bowled in the nets on several occasions. To be honest, he does that a lot. But not for this long, and especially not after a protracted batting practise when the humidity levels were at an all-time high.
Axar Patel was bowled at the most by Kohli, who has four T20I wickets to his credit. Although at a considerably slower pace, Kohli’s yorker resembled that of Bumrah and nearly knocked the left-hander off his feet.
When the speakers at the IS Bindra Stadium decided to have some fun, he still had the stamina to sprint to the ground for a fielding drill, a quick game of football, and an impromptu dancing session to a well-known Bollywood song.
When Kohli found nothing else to do but his energy and stamina just refused to die, he sort of talked everyone into a push-up challenge. “Push up karenge, chalo chalo, everyone,” he said, signalling the rest of the Indian cricketers to join him in his endeavour. There was no clear winner in the contest but Kohli was seen finding errors in the postures of some of his teammates with a big smile on his face.
As the floodlights took full control and night grew darker, one could almost sense the disappointment deep inside Kohli when it was time for the Indian team to return to their hotel. For his energy will have to wait for another 24 hours to light up a cricket field.