“Sachin Tendulkar carried the burden of Indian Cricket for the past 25 years. Now it’s time for us to carry him on his shoulders”. This is what Virat Kohli said after India’s win the 2011 World Cup, as players carried Sachin on their shoulders around the Wankhade stadium in Mumbai. When he quoted those lines on air, he wouldn’t have imagined that he will be the heir apparent for Sachin Tendulkar. Since then, Virat Kohli has taken some giant steps in cricket and he eventually replaced Sachin Tendulkar at the number 4 in the Indian batting line up for Tests.
Virat Kohli, who is known for his exceptional skills and consistency with the willow in hand has had some issues in maintaining his temperament on the field for which he was criticized often. Ever since he was given the responsibility of the backbone of Indian batting, Virat gradually maintained his composure and aggression. But Kohli’s aggression brings the best out of him. He was prolific for the past couple of years and took his game to the next level. He scored a sensational hundred in Australia at Adelaide, Scored runs consistently in South Africa and New Zealand, where the conditions are not known to suit his style of play.
Even before India’s tour of England started to take rounds, Virat Kohli was expected to fire in all cylinders and lead India the way. He was closely watched by the Indian fans and media MS Dhoni’s deputy carried the burden of a nation on his shoulders to call the shots in English soil. But once the tour started, it didn’t turn out according to the script of Indian fans, Virat Kohli failed miserable in the first two tests at Nottingham and Lord’s as he managed just 34 runs from 4 innings so far he played. In the first three innings he played, he was struggling against the deliveries that tempts him to drive through the off-side and got out to it twice. And in the second innings at Lord’s, he decided to leave such delivery just to see the ball swing in a bit and hit the top of off-stump.
Now with Virat failing to live up to his reputation, the same Indian fans and Media started to criticise him. There were claims by the fans and media that the credits for Viart’s poor performance should be given to Bollywood actress and his spouse Anuskha Sharma who was allowed by the BCCI to accompany Virat in England. There were rounds going that Virat is distracted a lot by her mere presence in England and as a result of that he could not able to concentrate on matches. This shouldn’t be the case of Media and fans for maintaining dual standards for a batsman who has saved India from blushes numerous times in the past.
Too much of expectations from Virat is taking a toll on him. But for a player of Virat’s stature, these are those matches where players get out owing to some bad luck or for a deserving ball. Virat has proved in the past that he is a Champion batsman and there has enough faith and determination in himself to prove the pendulamic Indian fans and Media who the real Virat Kohli is. Having said that, now it’s high time for Virat Kohli to reinvent himself and silence his critics in his own way.