Kolkata: Sunday, September 26, 2021, turned out to be a memorable day for Virat Kohli. Slammed of late for his ‘plummet’ in form compounded by uncorroborated stories of his Team India mates’ disapproval of his style, Kohli desperately needed a pick-me-up to hit back.
And oh boy, didn’t he pull it off? A victory over his alleged bete noire Rohit Sharma in the IPL clash of the Titans (RCB vs MI) and achieving the milestone of being the first Indian to enter the coveted 10,000-run club in T20s couldn’t have arrived at a more appropriate moment for Kohli.
And his reactions after the win against the Mumbai Indians laid bare his ecstasy amid the criticism he has had to endure in recent times. On Sunday in Dubai, Kohli couldn’t have erred – runs at a crucial juncture and immaculate leadership which leave us wondering why the man is in the twilight zone of T20 captaincy.
King Kohli has nothing to lose – he relinquishes the top job for his franchise after the IPL and eventually the national side (in T20Is) at the completion of the ICCT20 World Cup. The proverbial cynics and their cryptic innuendos do not ruffle his feathers anymore.
Anyway, towards the closure of this year, Captain Kohli in T20s will be history with a new man at the helm – this gives the Delhi lad the luxury of discharging his responsibilities unperturbed by the outcome. ‘Go out and give your best’ is his mantra.
Two back-to-back fifties in three encounters and the much-needed victory over arch rivals Mumbai Indians (led by his over-ambitious white ball deputy) following two consecutive losses, put forth a stern message -“Slam me and I smash you out of the park with the willow.” Kohli would be dying to make one last statement before he demotes himself down the ranks hierarchically in the shortest format of the game.
A wounded Tiger sulks but waits for the right opportunity to retaliate. Kohli may not express his dismay in words, but deep down, he is nursing his wounds. Even a clinical show as a leader in the Test series against England fails to absolve him of accusations of being autocratic and adamant as captain. Incredulous!
Rest assured, neither is he down nor out. Behind the seraphic smile lies an ignominy that could tell heavily on his opponents – resolute effort to thwart attempts to run him down. It sounds ominous, but joyous, if you are a Kohli fan!
The resurgence begins! Take it!