“We are fortunate enough to witness two different generes of world cricket.”
The first decade of the 21st century is largely regarded for its competitive spirit. Early 2000s witnessed uprising of many cricketing legends. From Sachin Tendulkar to Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting, from Steve Waugh to Michael Vaughan, from Shane Warne to Muralitharan and from Mark Boutcher to Adam Gilchrist. They introduced different dimensions to the game of cricket. The transformation they bought in not only increased the pace of the game but also ensured that the spectators would always be tied to the game. Their skill was second to none and this ensured that every international team struck a perfect balance. Even the minnows in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and West Indies justified their presence boldly at the international level. However, every purple patch seeks some dark, every good phase ends with a slight tumble. This time, the retirement of big guns stimulated the transition. All big names succumbed to form and age and the young blood filled its place. India’s loss to Bangladesh in 2007 World Cup was perhaps our moment to initiate change.
The transformation was uniform and steady for a few teams while it went worst for a few others, for some it was quick while for others it went prolonged, for some it was gentle while for others it became harsh. It was the time where someone had to step up for a cause and drive their team back to winning ways. Teams like India, England, Australia, New Zealand were quick to bury the consequent gap while teams like Sri Lanka, West Indies and Pakistan still find it difficult to cope with the increased standards. Virat Kohli, Joe Root, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson share a huge credit for reviving the competitive spirit with a modern touch. Their on-field aggression, confident techniques and positive approach has traced back the replenishing joy of cricket. Now with all four being the captain of their respective teams, safe to quote “It is the start of the FAB FOUR ERA.”
They have risen to the cause when their nation needed them, they have driven the transition along with some senior players and they have strive hard to reach this epitome of greatness.”
Kane Williamson has more so single handedly driven New Zealand to glory. 2015 World Cup being one of the recent highs, his test records too have been pretty impressive. The subtleness he brings into his game, his calm presence over cricket field and the simplicity he reflects from his game is worth watching. Following similar lines is the England skipper Joe Root. His recent form has been doing rounds and the ease he brings into his batting is admirable. Post Alastair Cook, Root has been successful getting England out of all controversies. He has bought in the sense of discipline within the team and has been organized with his way of working. Be it guiding England home from crunch situations or leading them from the front when needed, he never shied away from his responsibilities.
Talking about responsibilities, another legend who almost adores the responsibility of world Test cricket currently is the Aussie Steven Smith. Initially coming into the side as a young leg spinner from New South Wales, hardwork has seen him through as Australia’s most dependable batsman. Unorthodox batting styles, sound technique and a emphatic passion to take the team to glory, Smith has deserved every bit of his highest rank. Though his limited overs form still raises a concern, cricketing fraternity is sure of him replicating red-ball ride onto the shorter format. However, mastering the art of giving his best in all formats, Virat Kohli has ruled every batting department. Often compared to limited over greats like Sachin Tendulkar and Sir Viv Richards, Virat Kohli has came a long way to create an independent existence in world cricket.
From chasing huge totals with exuberance and grace to building up on one, from anchoring the innings through deep waters to aggressively giving it back to the opposition when needed, Virat Kohli presently tick-marks all batting requirements.
Confidence, perseverance, determination and grit is reflected back from all these 4 greats of the game. What distinguishes them even more from others is their consistency and the ability to soak in pressure.
Playing for the team and binding together with it, records haven’t bothered their priorities. Each of them possess a unique style of captaincy, each of them constitutes a unique game-plan and its this uniqueness they bring into their game that makes it more eventful and exciting. The aggression, passion and the eager to win will certainly be something to look up to in years to come. Not only with these four, but also other international stars like Rohit Sharma, AB De Villiers, Hashim Amla and David Warner will also strive to make a bolder mark in international cricket across formats. Be it scoring big runs or seeing it through to desirable destinations, world would always be glorified with a gutsy flaring cricketing stature.
“It’s time to give up on comparisons and enjoy the highest quality cricket on display.”