Arguably one of the most popular and highly sought-after sportspersons in the country, Virat Kohli has taken huge strides both personally and professionally during his eight-year-old stint with Indian cricket.
Kohli is ranked no. 1 in T20Is, no. 2 in ODIs and no. 4 in Test cricket. To top it all, he looks in the best shape of his life. If that's not perfection personified, then probably nothing is.
But, wait. Rewind to his early days and you'll notice that the Indian captain wasn't really the batting force he is today, let alone a sports icon. He had a horrible routine with the lack of a proper diet and fitness. On the field too, he was brash, blunt and ready for a confrontation.
However, over the years, as he found his consistency with the bat and transformed his body into that of a sportsman, Kohli witnessed a rapid rise in the ranks of Indian cricket. Today, he is not only a mature cricketer, but also a genuine role model for youngsters.
Such was his transformation that it even began reflecting in his other aspects of life. When Anushka Sharma was being trolled on social media, Kohli thrashed haters with a brilliant tweet. When he was in Pune last year, Kohli paid a visit to an old-age home and extended financial support to the elderly.
When Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar's son sent him a fan video, Kohli reciprocated with a sweet reply. But it was the Bengaluru mass-molestation case on the New Year's Eve when the Delhi lad proved he's a class apart.
At a time when other prominent sportspersons chose to turn a blind eye to the horrific incident, Kohli didn't just speak his mind, but also highlighted what is expected out of men in the changing times today.
And if all the examples mentioned above couldn't make you respect Kohli, this one rare story revealed by Michael Clarke will surely make you look at the Indian captain differently.
Speaking at the launch of his autobiography 'My Story' in Kolkata, the former Australian captain has shared a heartfelt incident about Kohli during the funeral proceedings of the former Oz batsman Philip Hughes.March 1, 2017
"The way Virat handled that situation; he came for the funeral and had some of the Indian players too. I have utmost respect for him because of that," Clarke said.
"This is clearly above the game of cricket and they didn't need to postpone the game. They could not have turned up for the funeral. They didn't have to do anything that they did. I will always remember that," Clarke further added.
For a man who consistently faced criticism for his boorish attitude early on, Kohli has clearly come a long way to not only become a batting sensation for his country, but also a respectable human being.