Why Virat Kohli is the most-loved bad boy of Indian cricket
You can’t keep the bad boy out of Virat Kohli for too long. It’s hard to imagine what the Indian Test skipper would look like if you take this aggression out of him. It’s as much a part of his DNA as his ability to smash tons under pressure.
Sure, it’s gonna hurt a few people along the way, but isn’t it a price worth paying for the priceless batting displays we get in return?
And it’s not something that only comes from a few hardcore fans of his. Even legendary cricketers like Viv Richards have praised his aggression from time to time.
Virat Kohli has shown us that fire needs to be fought with fire on a cricket field. He has taught his teammates to get into their opponents’ faces, to get under their skins. It looks ugly, but if you’re an Indian, it also kinda feels awesome.
Critics, opponents and cricket idealists can complain all they like, but at the end of the day, no one can deny that Kohli’s attitude has added an element of adventure and boldness to the Indian team.
Here are ten awesome results of Kohli’s ‘bad boy’ ways.
1. It puts the opponents in their rightful place
Be it the sledging Australians or the abusive Pakistanis, cricket is not a gentleman’s game any more. The likes of Ricky Ponting, Andrew Symonds, Glenn McGrath or Shoaib Akhtar have hardly been civil against the Indians or anyone else for that matter. And it’s good to see someone giving them a taste of their own medicine.
2. It adds more thrill and excitement to the contest
Let’s face it, everybody enjoys a few heated exchanges, a send-off or two and a staring contest once in a while – as long as it is done in ‘good spirit’!
3. It brings in much needed aggression
Indian cricketers have traditionally been the peace-loving kind, who ‘hear no evil’ and certainly ‘speak no evil’. But more often than not, they end up getting bullied on the cricket field with that attitude. The Men in Blue can certainly use a little manning up.
4. It inspires his teammates
For a change, Kohli isn’t alone in his fight this time. Young players like Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Varun Aaron also gave the Australians a mouthful on quite a few occasions during the 2014-15 tour. You can definitely credit Kohli for this change in attitude.
5. It raises doubts in the opposition
It’s not the most ethical thing to do. However, every piece of sledging needs to be seen and heard in context. When you’re surrounded by a bunch of ‘vocal’ Australian players and fans down under, there is hardly an inappropriate moment to talk back.
6. Defeats hurt a little less
India have lost the series, but at least they’ve gone down fighting. They’ve made the opposition toil. They’ve angered, upset and at times, even intimidated the opposition. Kohli has been the frontrunner of this impressive show and even in defeat, he and his teammates can take a lot of pride from their gutsy performances.
7. Test cricket gets some much needed spice
The immense popularity of the IPL and the shorter format of the game have threatened to put Test cricket on its deathbed. If Virat and his boys can spice up rivalries and get the excitement level for the longer format back up, more power to them.
8. It gives voice to India’s confident new generation
Virat Kohli is part of a generation that is economically, culturally and politically at par with the rest of the world. It doesn’t lag behind when it comes to the latest trends in education, technology, fashion and so on. India’s urban youth does not fall into the typical, timid, third-world stereotypes and can truly identify with Virat’s attitude.
9. Undoing the damage done by MSD’s defensive captaincy
While MSD’s overall Test captaincy record is quite impressive, his approach and decision-making in overseas series was questionable to say the least. Virat Kohli on the other hand, in his very first Test as a captain has already shown signs of positivity and aggression.
10. The ‘Dada’ project lives on
As a captain, Sourav Ganguly strived to change India’s ‘tigers at home’ image. If Kohli’s teammates step up and add a little more grit to their performances, India might finally have a unit capable of coming up with series wins outside the subcontinent.
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