Dear Virat Kohli, Here's letter from your fan who defended your lows and celebrated your highs
I am writing this letter to tell you about my journey with my favourite cricketer whom I have been supporting loyally for the last sixteen years. To let you know how your failures and bouncebacks have impacted me and thousands like me.
Dear Virat Kohli,
In the last sixteen years, life changed, the world around us changed, the rules of cricket changed, and even the milestones that you achieved changed but the wish to reach you somehow and express that we always have your back, remained constant.
I have supported you no matter what and have always defended your defeats by saying that you fought bravely and won hearts. Even when your performances were underwhelming, I never lost hope.
I have celebrated your achievements and successful innings. But you too had your share of lows in life and on the cricket field. What makes me a proud fan is that you never let your dedication towards the game get impacted by these lows. In fact, you came back stronger after every bad phase.
Remember the year 2006, when you made your cricket debut for Delhi, your state team. Virat, during that time I was learning more about the game, and in December, I learnt one of the most powerful lessons of life - to never give up. You were just 18 years old when you played probably one of the most difficult matches of your life.
You were playing a Ranji Trophy game against Karnataka at that time. Karnataka's team had scored 446 and Delhi had lost 4 wickets at the score of 14. I became your fan when you took the team's burden on your shoulders and scored an overnight 40 runs. And it was the same night when you lost your father, Prem Kohli to a heart attack.
Much to everyone's surprise, you called your coach in the morning and said that you wanted to continue the game.
"Not completing a cricket game is a sin. That was a moment that changed me as a person. The importance this sport holds in my life is very, very high," listening to your interview gave me goosebumps and motivated me to become a stronger person.
You came back the next morning and smashed 90 runs for your team. Virat, it was just the start of my belief in the power of sports and your willpower.
"I came back from the game for the last rites and promised my brother that I will play for India. My father was keen that I play for India and that was when everything in life became a second priority. Cricket became the first priority," these were your words from an interview which are still close to my heart.
Then came the year 2014, when India toured England. You had mentioned it to be the lowest point of your test career. You managed to score just 134 runs across five test matches with a disappointing strike rate of 13.4.
Believe me when I say that I supported you and believed in you even when you struggled against swinging deliveries and failed miserably against James Anderson's bowling. You lost your wicket to him five times. India lost that series 3-1.
Remembering the tour, you said in an interview that you already knew that you won't score many runs. "That was the lowest point, I promised myself I will never allow this to happen to me again. It happened because I was too selfish, and all about myself. Hence, it ate me up." By accepting your flaw, you made me an ardent fan of yours.
This tour raised many questions about your batting and technique. But did it affect my fandom? Not even a bit.
However, you proved the critics wrong and your fans right with your brilliant performance later that year, on the Australia tour.
You registered four centuries in the four-match series and scored a total of 692 runs in eight innings. You also took over the test-match captaincy in the same tour.
Again, in the year 2021, your captaincy was criticized for India's defeat at ICC World Test Championship Finals against New Zealand, when the kiwis defeated the men in blue by eight wickets.
Your leadership was put to question for selecting two spinners in the team even though there was a forecast suggesting overcast conditions which later helped the New Zealand pacers to manipulate the Indian batters to struggle. Your batting performance during the series was also underwhelming. To be honest, my confidence in your captaincy shook a little during this time.
"We will continue to reassess what are the things required to strengthen our side and not fall prey to certain patterns. You have to reassess and replan what dynamics work for the team and how we can be fearless," you said in the post-match conference and gave me reassurance in your magical abilities.
It was not too late after that match when Team India clinched a remarkable 157-run victory against England at the fourth test match at the Oval. This was also India’s second Test win at The Oval since 1971, after 50 years.
In the same year 2021, my dream of looking at you holding the trophy and shouting our slogan Ee saala cup naamde (this year the cup is ours) was broken into pieces. I was shattered when Royal Challengers Bangalore lost the Eliminator and it was really painful to see the long-term captain deliver his last speech in that role.
Talking about your lean patch which was criticized by many experts and your former teammates, hurt me a lot. When some of them told you to take a break while others suggested you consider retirement, I wished and prayed for you to just bounce back and silence the critics by showing your hidden powers.
Then after a long drought of 1020 days, you smashed your 71st century in the match against Afghanistan at the Asia Cup 2022.
Virat, I am sure you felt relieved and your near and dear ones celebrated the achievement in a special way. But I want to express, I shouted, jumped, and cried at the same time and had my mini celebration by eating my favourite chocolate.
And then came, T20 World Cup 2022, when you proved that the king is undisputedly back, and that too with a bang. You have hammered three half-centuries so far and have become the highest run-getter at the mega event.
Years have passed since the day that I started loving cricket and you became your fan. Your journey has been a roller coaster ride and I have passively lived all the joys and sorrows as a fan.
On your auspicious day, I want to thank you for giving me and thousands like me a special experience of aggression, passion and tears of happiness all at the same time. Your journey with highs and lows gave me life lessons of dedication, discipline, and willpower.
May you always be happy and achieve all you want, Happy Birthday Virat!
Love and Regards,
Your fan since 2006
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