Virat Kohli has quietly and in a very different manner celebrated his past two birthdays. Typically on the road, Kohli’s birthday in 2020 was more about him beginning a new stage of life: parenthood. Virat’s birthday was more about someone else for him since his wife Anushka Sharma was likely carrying their first kid for the first time in his life. The next year, in 2021, around the time of his birthday, Kohli was undoubtedly at the lowest point of his career. In his last competition as T20I captain, India was eliminated from the T20 World Cup two days after he turned 33. If this wasn’t painful enough, the BCCI notified Kohli that he was no longer required as India’s ODI captain a little over a month later. This was hardly the birthday present that Kohli, India’s most decorated batter in the previous ten years, was hoping for.

To make matters worse, Kohli, who had been without a century for two years at that point, was suddenly having difficulty scoring even double-digit runs, much alone fifty. The expectation heading into 2022 was that Kohli the winner would overcome his inconsistent play, but things quickly turned sour. As a record-obsessed country watched Kohli’s fall from grace—their superhero, their King transformed into a mortal—the Test average fell below 50 for the first time. In a heartbreaking scene during the IPL, the guy who used to conjure hundreds for amusement was now gazing up to the sky and seemingly asking, “How many new methods are you going to discover to get me out?” Runs stopped working and shape evaded him.

However, as the saying goes, “Tough times come with an expiry date.” Although this was true in Kohli’s situation, the period of hardship has passed. The old Kohli has returned on his 34th birthday, and he is here to reclaim his reign. Kohli is dominating the T20 World Cup, which may be his last one. As he did in the Asia Cup, when he finished as India’s best run-scorer of the competition with 273 runs, Kohli is performing to remember with over 200 runs in four matches at a Bradman-Esque average of 220.

So far, each of Kohli’s three innings has cut a different figure. In contrast to how he batted conservatively on 12 of 21 against Pakistan before going into GOD-mode, Kohli demonstrated the best batting pattern for a slow wicket in the match against the Netherlands. In the game against Bangladesh, Kohli made it quite apparent when he came to bat that he intended to attack the bowling, and he did so with unwavering confidence. Nothing Kohli tried in England four months before was successful. Today, he is incapable of misstepping. This is the same person that had trouble getting on base. Imagine.