Virat Kohli is the Cristiano Ronaldo of cricket.
Not only super-skilled, he is a man on a mission – to make both himself and his team the best in the world.
The intensity of both men’s ambitions is obvious in their impassioned expressions and uber-commitment. Powered by an innate desire, they are their team’s driving force. They play with a tangible emotion bordering on fury. Failure is not contemplated. Defeat is a personal insult.
But defeated India were the last time they toured England – in 2014 with MS Dhoni as captain – and Kohli had a miserable time, averaging only 13 with the bat. James Anderson had him on toast.
It is this experience, more than any other, that Kohli, now captain, is desperate to avenge. It is a huge blot on his otherwise excellent CV.
A series victory in England – confirming India as the number Test team – and a substantial number of runs from his bat on English pitches is Kohli’s final frontier. He will leapfrog Steve Smith to become the world’s best batsman if he achieves it.