Sixth bowler, dancer, push-up challenge coordinator and... batter: Virat Kohli's normal day in practice session
He will turn 34 this November but his body doesn't know that. His fitness levels are still of a 25-year-old. Otherwise, how would you explain a batter of Kohli's calibre bowling for nearly 30 minutes in the nets after smashing pretty much every Indian frontline bowler for about an hour.
Years down the line, it shouldn't surprise any cricket fan if Virat Kohli is officially used as a synonym for words like energy, stamina and fitness. Runs or no runs, win or lose, World Cup final or a net session, Kohli's energy at any given point is unparalleled, unthinkable, unimaginable. In an imaginary world, if that energy was converted, it would probably be enough to light up a small town for a few hours. More than three years ago, Kohli had said that due to back issues, he might never bowl again in an international match. This came after he hadn't bowled for three years. He was 30 then. He will turn 34 this November but his body doesn't know that. His fitness levels are still of a 25-year-old. Otherwise, how would you explain a batter of Kohli's calibre bowling for nearly 30 minutes in the nets after smashing pretty much every Indian frontline bowler for about an hour on the eve of a series opener against Australia?
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Those who thought that they have seen the last of Kohli's bowling after he made the back injury comment in June 2019 were in for a surprise when the former India captain rolled his arms over against Hong Kong in the recently-concluded Asia Cup. And those who believed there was nothing much to read into that over might be in for a bigger surprise in the upcoming home series against Australia and South Africa.
Kohli was back with the cross-legged nearly wrong-footed bowling of his on Monday ahead of the series-opening T20I against Australia in Mohali. Does he want to present himself as a viable sixth or seventh bowling option for Rohit Sharma like he has turned out to be the third opener? One can never say that with assurance. This was not the first time Kohli was bowling in the nets in the last few years. He does that quite often, to be honest. But not for this long and certainly not after a long batting session with the humidity levels knowing no limits.
Kohli, who has four T20I wickets to his name, bowled the most to Axar Patel and nearly knocked the left-hander off his feet with a Bumrah-esque yorker, albeit at a much slower pace.
After all this, he still had the energy to run to the ground for a fielding drill, a brief session of football, and an impromptu dance session to a popular Bollywood song when the speakers at the IS Bindra Stadium decided to have some fun.
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.