- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury India (7 October 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9385936263
- ISBN-13: 978-9385936265
- Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13 x 2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Driven: The Virat Kohli Story Paperback – 7 Oct 2016
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This book is awesome.i am loving every bit of it,.Everyone playing a part in his life has a special place in the book.the best thing about this book is that it has got amazing stats of his career in a very different way go for it. --By Himank Shekhar on 21 October 2016
Virat is a work in progress. He is an engrossing character, who will fight tooth and nail for his partners, and take on the opposition with a blend of aggression and calmness. Many opponents have discovered his anger in a verbal dose to assert his presence. He firmly believes in giving it back. His middle-finger wagging act in Australia in 2012 was an example of how Virat would not accept things lying down. --By Anupam Rajmani on 9 October 2016
About the Author
Vijay Lokapally has written on cricket for over three decades. He is a widely travelled cricket scribe with the distinction of having reported extensively on the game from practically every international venue. Employed with the Hindu, a respected National newspaper since 1986, Lokapally is acknowledged for his insightful views on the game. He covered his first Test in 1981 as a freelancer apart from six limited-over World Cups for the Hindu and Sportstar. His enviable access to cricketers, past and present, gives Lokapally a ring-side view of the game in India. He lives in Delhi with Sunanda, his wife and son Akshay.
From the Publisher
A Life in Cricket
From the under-19 days. From left Shikhar Dhawan, Virat, Geet Vats and Ruushill Bhaskar. Photo credit: Ruushill Bhaskar
Batting with Sachin Tendulkar during a Test against Australia in 2012. Photo credit: Suman Chattopadhya/Sambad Pratidin
With Virendra Sehwag after India’s victory over Australia in the 2016 T20 World Cup match at Mohali Photo credit: Suman Chattopadhya/Sambad Pratidin
Virat with his puppy Bruno at home. Photo credit: Vijay Lokapally
Driven: Book Excerpt
There was turmoil in Delhi cricket. Some seniors were in the firing line of the state selectors as quite a few youngsters were waiting to break into the squad. There was discontent among the seniors. They felt their services to the team were being undermined, but the selectors insisted they had a job at hand – to give Delhi cricket a push in the right direction. The last Ranji Trophy title had come home in 1992, when Delhi dashed Tamil Nadu’s dreams in the final at the Ferozeshah Kotla. The pressure was on the seniors and the message was loud and clear –perform or make way for the youngsters.
Vijay Dahiya, a Test wicketkeeper and a stalwart in the dressing room, was given a tough choice – announce retirement or face the axe. He chose to leave on his own terms, paving the way for Punit Bisht to assume the wicketkeeper’s role. ‘It is always better to go out on a high. I don’t wish to block a youngster’s way and it is the best time to leave. I don’t want to be unfair to Punit. He must get the backing to settle into his job,’ Dahiya had said. Dahiya’s debut had come against Punjab in 1993-94. He had been a member of the North Zone teams, which won the Duleep and Deodhar Trophy in 1999-2000. He had played in two Tests and nineteen ODIs.
This was not the best time for Virat to take the plunge into first-class cricket, but it was hardly his call. He had made enough waves to earn a place in the state senior team, and was keen to take the first step towards his ultimate goal of turning out in the India colours. Virat was over the moon when he was asked to report for the nets. It was in preparation for the Ranji Trophy season’s opening league match against Tamil Nadu at the Kotla. There was another debutant in that game – fast bowler Ishant – who was destined to play international cricket alongside Virat.
Virat’s first-class debut (23-26 November 2006) went unnoticed. On a placid pitch, M. Vijay, also playing his first first-class match, and S. Badrinath, his India mates in later years, helped Tamil Nadu make 347, which Delhi overhauled with ease through the centuries from Rajat Bhatia, Dahiya and Dhawan. Virat was caught behind for ten by Vikram Mani off Yo Mahesh. Interestingly, Mani made 52, in spite of a broken finger. However, Mani, in a bizarre case of Indian cricket’s selection inconsistencies, never played again and is now reportedly settled in Auroville Ashram.
Yo Mahesh recalls the dismissal vividly. He will always be known as the bowler to take Virat’s wicket for the first time in first-class cricket. ‘It was a ball that straightened after pitching and took the edge,’ said Mahesh. ‘I had bowled to him a lot in junior cricket, in the nets, and always found him to be an aggressive batsman. He had a wide range of strokes even in junior cricket and his self-belief was amazing. He would announce and go out and win the match single-handed. I am not surprised to see Virat grow in stature and become the most feared batsman in world cricket.’
The next game, against Uttar Pradesh, saw Virat fall eight short of a half-century. Nevertheless, he made an impression. ‘I remember his footwork. There was a certainty in his movements at the crease, and I liked his urgency to dominate. He played his shots and played them fearlessly,’ said Rizwan Shamshad, a reputed batsman on the domestic circuit and a key member of the Uttar Pradesh team. Virat was now feeling comfortable with his cricket, and was happy to be a part of the Delhi dressing room. His dreams were slowly becoming a reality. It helped when Delhi played its third match too at Kotla. Ishant grabbed the limelight with his maiden five-wicket haul as Delhi rocked Baroda, with Mayank Tehlan shining with the bat. Tehlan had started his cricket career with a debut score of 176 against Maharashtra in December 2005, slamming 200 in his seventh first-class match. However, he failed to live up to his promise, while
Virat, whose contribution was a modest 21 in that match, learnt a few important lessons that resulted in Delhi soon getting a young batting powerhouse.
Virat was on the edge now. Three matches had passed without a fifty to his name. His coaches counselled him rigorously. On his own, the boy had made up his mind to cement his place during his next visit to the crease. The opponent was formidable– former Ranji Trophy champion Karnataka. But Virat was prepared. The first day was spent on the field as Karnataka piled up 299 for three with Robin Uthappa cracking an unbeaten 161.
Uthappa failed to add to his score the next day, but Karnataka took a firm grip by posting 446. They reduced Delhi to 103 for five, with Virat (40) and Bisht (28) occupying the crease, both raw to the challenge. Virat went home tired. His world would change that night as Prem Kohli passed away due to a cerebral attack on 19 December 2006. His father was no more and Virat was inconsolable. His mentor, guide, and friend, was gone. From now on, he would have to continue on a solitary fight – take on the harsh world where talent was seldom the password for success. Not that Virat was dependent on extraneous factors, but he was rudderless on that dark night at home. The sombre atmosphere in the house prepared him to be more responsible and disciplined in his quest for cricketing glory.
Corresponding Photo 1: Caption: Playing the square-cut at Ferozeshah Kotla in the Ranji Trophy Match against Karnataka in 2006. This was the day he reported to play after the death of his father. Photo credit: S Subramanium/The Hindu Photo Archives
A Conversation with Vijay Lokapally
Vijay Lokapally is a respected names in sports journalism. He is well known in cricketing circles, both in India and abroad. Over his three decade long career, he has covered different formats of the game from practically every domestic and international venue. He is widely lauded for his insightful views and straightforward writing. In his second book, Vijay traces the journey of Virat Kolhi, from his initial days at the cricket academy to his steady and phenomenal rise as one of the greatest players of the game. Vijay’s enviable access to cricketers, past and present, coaches and umpires and Virat himself gives him a unique perspective on the man and the cricketer that few can boast of. His authority on the subject and his signature writing style makes Driven a compelling read. An excerpt from an interview with the author.
Q. What drew you to sports journalism?
Vijay Lokapally: My passion for the game. I was always fascinated by cricket books and match reports in The Hindu. It is a newspaper that has a great tradition for excellent sports writing, cricket in particular. When the legendary Bishan Singh Bedi retired, I penned my appreciation and sent it to all the newspapers in Delhi. It was published in two newspapers and Bedi Sir then wrote me a letter in praise of my article. I decided to become a sports journalist that day. I have preserved that letter from Bedi Sir.
Q. This is your second book about the journey of an Indian cricketing legend. The Virender Sehwag Story came out in 2004. Why such a long gap between your first and second book?
Vijay Lokapally: Work kept me busy in The Hindu. Sehwag was an interesting subject and so is Virat. I should have done books on VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble but did not find time. It is still not too late.
Q. Over the course of your long career you have interviewed many cricketers. Was this a natural progression for you, this journey from journalist to biographer?
Vijay Lokapally: You are right, it was a natural progression. As a journalist, you chronicle events and it facilitates your work if you plan to bring it out in the form of a book. But there are certain constraints within which you have to work as a journalist. As an author of a book, you are free of those shackles, particularly when it comes to the dreaded word count!
Q. There are many outstanding cricketers whose stories are inspiring. Why did you choose to focus on Virat Kolhi as the subject of your second book?
Vijay Lokapally: His style of batting was the primary reason. And the fact that he came from Delhi, which has produced some of the finest cricketers in India. His rise has been phenomenal and steady. In Delhi, the cricket circles were agog with stories about Virat, and I am happy he has lived up to the expectations.
Q. There is so much written and said about Virat Kolhi already. What can the readers expect from Driven?
Vijay Lokapally: This book traces his journey from his first day at the coaching academy. It also brings forth the real Virat Kohli. Let the book tell you the story; after all, there is nothing like a little bit of suspense!
Q. What in your view sets Virat Kolhi apart from some of the other outstanding cricketers of his generation?
Vijay Lokapally: His amazing confidence and the desire to win. A fearless cricketer, he is among the rare breed players of this generation who excels in all the formats of the game. He is extremely competitive and just the batsman any captain would love to have in his playing eleven.
Q. What kind of research did you do for the book?
Vijay Lokapally: My own experiences of Virat and stories gleaned from his contemporaries, coaches and umpires who saw him from the under-15 days form the bedrock of this publication. The narrative draws information from people who have been integral parts of Virat’s cricket journey.
Q. During the course of your journey with this book, did you find out anything in particular that reinforced certain perceptions you had about him? Were there things you discovered that changed certain views you held about him prior to taking up this book?
Vijay Lokapally: I always knew he was not what he comes across on the field. Extremely respectful to seniors, he is combative on the field but polite and caring off it. His desire to help fellow cricketers convinced me he is the best ambassador for cricket in India.
Q. Who are some of cricket writers that you admire the most?
Vijay Lokapally: Jack Fingleton, R. Mohan, Peter Roebuck, Gideon Haigh, Ray Robinson, Neville Cardus. Among my contemporaries I enjoy reading R. Kaushik, G. Rajaraman, Dwarkanath Sanzgiri, Manoj Vatsyayana, Anand Vasu, Madhu Jawali and Sidharth Monga for the cricket in their writings. Not to forget my colleague K. C. Vijaya Kumar. Hope he writes more.
Q. In your three decades as a sports journalist, you have seen the medium and the craft go through many transitions. Where do you think sports journalism is headed in age of Twitter and Facebook?
Vijay Lokapally: It will become increasingly challenging to give fresh angles to your stories. There will be more analysis than news, which, to me, is not the best way to present a sports event. The assumption that since matches are televised, people have already seen them in their entirety isn’t necessarily true. There still is a place for an insightful, colourful match description. The analysis should drive the report, it should not become the report itself.
Q. Any advice for aspiring sports journalists?
Vijay Lokapally: To be less critical of sportspersons; everyone tries his/her best. If that is not good enough to help them become the best, the critic should present the picture in the right perspective. Rely on facts because credibility is your best award in this profession. Criticize performances, not individuals. Judge events, not people.
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Top Customer Reviews
I bought this with great expectations to get into the untapped untold unheard stories of a great cricketer but there isn't much which one wouldn't have heard of about VIrat...I did not find it engaging or inspiring......
An opportunity wasted---not just on the writing aspect but on a more broader and personal level to let the readers know this icon from up, close and personal and provide the readers with an entertaining and inspiring read......
Within a year, Virat once again exploded on the cricket field, but without a bat this time. The Chinnaswamy Stadium witnessed a Virat-Gambhir spat that left the audience stunned. Two Delhi and India teammates going at each other was an unsightly spectacle, but accepted as part of the game in modern times.
A cricketer must be seen as an expressive individual on the field, what with the TV cameras following every moment and beaming it across the world. Virat, in this case, was steering RCB to the target of 155 in the IPL clash with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), when he lost his wicket. Having slammed two sixes off Delhi teammate Pradeep Sangwan, also his India under-19 colleague, Virat attempted to slice L. Balaji, but only holed out to Eoin Morgan.
As he appeared to walk back to the dressing room, something snapped in him and he moved towards Gambhir, who was equally menacing, while confronting a livid Virat.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a very good book to know about the greatest cricketer virat.k you will the unknown things about himPublished 12 days ago by P V S CHALAM
Buy it today it's awesome interesting you fell like going to cricket world many histories about Virat KohliPublished 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
Love the book!!! Amazing facts about the run machine!!! Reject the bad comments a must buy book!!!!! ☺☺☺Published 1 month ago by sarpparajan
One of the best books written on one of the best players!!❤Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Author doesn't know much about Virat Kohli. But writing style is really good...Published 1 month ago by Gaurav Kathuria