Kolkata: Every journey has to come to an end. For our Master Blaster Virat Kohli, captaincy in the Indian Premier League has finally reached its destination as his team Royal Challengers Bangalore were knocked out of the ongoing edition of the cash-rich tournament by Kolkata Knight Riders.
For all ardent Kohli admirers, an IPL triumph would have been the perfect icing on the cake but destiny had something else etched on his forehead. Having announced his swan song as a leader at the IPL, a few weeks back, Kohli left no stone unturned to make his last stint count but to no avail. An unfortunate end to the tale of a champion captain.
Kohli’s critics would raise eyebrows for this eulogy since in his nine-year stay at the top was bereft of a Championship win much to the chagrin of his fans, yet there has been no dearth of efforts on his part. But a captain is as good as his team and when the team succumbs, it’s the leader who has to take the flak.
When we look back at Kohli’s tenure, it’s been full of upheavals. There have been some sunny sides yet some pale moments have been a spoilsport. But when we meticulously judge Kohli, the leader, probably he could have given himself a longer rope.
Well, now, IPL is a thing of the past. What awaits is the ICC T20 World Cup after which he would no longer walk out for the toss in the T20I format. With stories of Kohli being coerced into giving up on captaincy doing the rounds, the Delhi lad would pull no punches to prove his worth as a captain in the shortest format of the game.
As a captain at the international level, an ICC Trophy still eludes him. And Kohli being Kohli, he would be resolute enough to remove the blemish off his image. Knowing the person, he would go the whole hog but if there is a trust deficit within the team, then sceptics would emerge out of nowhere. Out here, we cast no doubts on the integrity of his teammates, but if the captain is not held in high esteem then it is bound to reflect on the overall performance of the team.
One would hope that Team India members would set their differences aside and give their captain a befitting tribute. Cut the crap and go all out to win the trophy not only for the country but also for the skipper.
Kohli being Kohli despite wearing his heart up his sleeves, would never ever express his angst in public, but deep down, he could be harbouring fleeting thoughts of the team going disarray. And this is where his challenge lies. Winning back the confidence of his boys (if at all it waned) would be of paramount importance. And a lot is at stake for sure.
Before the curtains are drawn on this piece, Thank you Virat for being such an Ambassador of the game! We seek one last hurray from you!