Virat Kohli has the era, the elegance of Sachin, the arrogance of Viv Richard and his conqueror attitude today. He is the the player who come to dominate the world. Or it could be as simple as being in an era where there are also other people who have won matches in different scenarios (may not be with the same consistency) and in that sense there is a little bit of problem of plenty. Kohli has got the inevitability of Pete Sampras in his prime. Pete was called boring Pete for a clear reason: he just won everything in clinical style. With Kohli, his style of batting has not got the flamboyance of some of the other mentioned Indian greats from the Indian Batting line.
The other fact is that bowlers are less enigmatic than for instance the greats of the nineties and zeros. He doesn’t have to face Akhtar, Waqar and Wasim against Pakistan or Warne and McGrath versus Australia or Murali and Vaas or Ambrose and Walsh. It just not like that anymore. In the case of Sachin, it was him only. The rest of the team never really amounted to much till the era when Ganguly, Laxman and Dravid and Sehwag came together. For most of us Pakistanis growing up admiring Indian Batting lineup, Sachin was the only and last hope for India. How many of us have switched off our TV when Sachin scored a tonne! We knew he had won it for them.
Virat Kohli is Absolute Ruthlessness
Kohli has a narrative for sure and it is ‘absolute ruthlessness’. Every great player of his generation does. Col. CK Nayudu showed that we can stand toe-to-toe with the British. Vijay Merchant and Lala Amarnath symbolised the nervous confidence of a free India. Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev showed that our victories were no flash in the pan. Sachin stood for the growing economic power of a liberalized India. Virat Kohli exemplifies supreme self-confidence, bordering on cockiness. It’s his early days impetuousness that has been the reason for the disconnect!! For e.g., look at all the great names we mentioned… yes, they had aggression, but it was always controlled!! We would attribute this his rugged body language. Kholi’s Body language has too much aggression.
Indian Batting Paradox
The paradox mentioned here is due to a mere fact that we all, as fans and cricket lovers just presume that Kohli would score a century or at-least a decent individual score while helping the team achieve success. He is a run machine which everyone has almost taken for granted now. In the earlier days, that was a rare situation. However deeper fans of Sachin, Sehwag and Ganguly batting we were, we had this notion in mind that not every game is going to be a batting dominance of these greats. But, at the same time, thinking from the younger generation point of view, they hear about cricketing greats like Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Tendulkar and lot, but they only have stars like Kohli to connect with in the current scenario.
Its not a paradox but a sign of the changing times! He brings a no non-sense approach to his craft and sticks to it… Virat Kohli is not trying to assume a larger than life image or peddling any kind of cure to problems off the cricket pitch. Thorough professionalism, is what he’s an ambassador of, something that the youth of the India would do well to imbibe! During World Cup T-20 tournament he was so dedicated and concerned about his performance that he refrained himself from eating ‘Butter chicken’ and ‘Sweets’ also in a recent interviews, he revealed that when he started training it was really difficult for him , he felt like eating bed-sheets sometime.
Kohli’s Act is to Keep up the Good Work
Indian cricket was always about a couple of heroes in the team and a bunch of other players filling the gaps in. It seems he is not only sports and youth icon but slowly moving towards becoming business brand ambassador icon too. Oh! May be he is new kind public Hero who does not fit old kind of stereotype Heroic definition. No wonder his heroism is beyond understanding and comprehensible to some. It’s not going to be like that with Kohli, whose emphasis is always team before individual records. Virat probably missing a heroic back story behind his success, that echoes a cultural tension or truth.
Remember when Sachin retired, no one wanted anyone to come closer to his achievements. It’s like you wishing your daughter or son not achieving their potential if they have a hint of coming closer your achievements. That of maintaining the good form. It is possibly a boring phase but quite a necessary one. His personal limits are quite high so they are only inspirational to most, not realistic. He is the Second highest earning person from Advertisement on the Globe. Consider how a multinational company perceives him as the best candidate for their TV commercials. He just signed 10 Million worth of brand ambassador deal, first of its kind in Indian sports history.
Is data is not telling that his mass public connection is bringing him windfall gain
Here we have a sportsman, who is successful in all formats of the game: as an individual athlete, as a team-player, and as a leader. In the process he has made himself and key stakeholders in the sport very wealthy. Virat Kohli has a whopping 14.5 million Twitter followers. And his fan base, on Twitter, is growing at about 3000 every day. 34 M Facebook ( 34102092 if counting correct ! ) followers. Every post generating thousands and sometime millions of response. He narrates the story of how a (slightly matured?) bad-boy can still command respect, and can continue being damn bloody good when it comes to performance.
Having said that, what makes him arguably the India’s top youth icon, is the fact that what he may lack in terms of a back story, he makes up for in attitude. He pretty much writes the book on the present Indian youth shedding their ‘sanskaari’ and ‘usool-aadarsh’ baggage and expressing themselves unabashedly. For all you know, he probably is still constructing the tale that one may look back 10 years hence and say he typified what Indian youth stood for in the decade gone by!