Kohli steps up

India's T20 World Cup victory in 2007 may have slightly overshadowed another important happening: The U-19 World Cup win.

Virat Kohli, the captain, leading from the front, the tournament featuring a century in 70-odd balls against the West Indies. Earmarked for greatness, seemingly, as proved my math teacher at the time who said Kohli was a 'future captain.'

Good domestic performances allowed selectors to draft him into the senior squad, if only to get some experience on tour. Matches were limited, but he didn't fail. What we saw of him in those few matches and in the IPL was flashy and aggressive, typical of the young T20 generation.

Opportunity arose through Yuvraj Singh's injury, Sachin Tendulkar's rest and Rohit Sharma's slipping down the pecking order, and Kohli was promoted up the order to showcase what he's capable of.

The century against Sri Lanka under pressure in the final match showed he has class and an array of strokes, and that he isn't some lucky cow-corner-slogger.

Another 91 against Bangladesh, under pressure again, and he's beginning to be the solid young batsman India need in the middle order, as Suresh Raina is still weak against the short ball.

If he can keep up his performances and cement a place (only one is really available when Sachin retires), leadership would definitely be the next step.

That's all far away though.


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