Bold and the Brash: Brand Kohli

He’s bold, he’s brash. He’s aggressive, he’s animated. He’s clever and now, he’s the captain. The first time he captained Team India in whites, he captained out of compulsion. MS Dhoni was injured and India needed a stand-in. But now, MS has gone, and this is his shot to success. Presenting Virat Kohli, India’s brand new skipper.

The Australians tried provoking him calling him a ‘spoilt brat’. Problem? No problem. He scored 169 in the match and later lashed out at the hosts, saying anyone who doesn’t give respect, doesn’t get respect. We like that. For the first time perhaps, we have a captain who isn’t really afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. While it will definitely have its flipsides, it will be exciting to watch a duel, which this time, in all my belief will be hard fought, even from the Indian side.

Let’s go back to the first Test match that Kohli captained. He landed with a bunch of youngsters on the Australian soil, at a time when the visitors were battling a profound personal loss. He had no experience as a captain and the numbers didn’t look too optimistic either. Despite that, Kohli lead the team to some firebrand cricket, which is why that particular loss hurt and hurt real bad. It’s not like we are habituated to the Indians giving up on foreign soil, but this was so close. There was intent. There was a plan. The execution was almost clinical, but a few elementary mistakes, combined with umpiring errors did the team in. Kohli led by example, blasted quite a few beauties in there. He won our hearts.

He has been consistent throughout., He’s let his bat speak, no doubt, but he’s also put all the words he’s learnt thus far to good use, I believe.

He abuses openly. So what? When the Aussies do it, we go gaga over their mind games and sledging strategies. When an Indian does it, it’s chee-chee? Sledging can either be dealt with stone cold silence and pure aggression in the eyes, something that Rahul Dravid mastered, or can be dealt with an equal amount of wisecracks. With this team brewing with young blood, very few Rahul Dravids can be expected. Hence, under the leadership of Kohli, Team India can perhaps bend a few norms.

Can the Australians tame Kohli? No, I guess. Why, you ask? Here’s why. Kohli is an absolute no-nonsense fellow. Straight forward too, I must confess. A staunch believer of tit for tat. The Australians cannot be beaten just by virtue of great cricket. They have to be beaten in a brand of cricket they follow — of mastering the mind games and paying them back in their own coin. 
The Australian media has called Kohli as the biggest jerk of the year. Should we worry? Absolutely not. Because Kohli loves it when opponents hate him; he believes that brings out the best in him. The Australians plan to crack him down by employing ‘boring’ cricket strategies. Well, he’s game. After all, even a first ball bouncer from Mitchell Johnson didn’t manage to shake him.

Bring it on, Aussies. This time, the Indian team is being lead by a daredevil. You’ll have fun, and so will we.


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