Saturday, February 22, 2020

Kohli, the Mortal and Immortal Words of Sahir Ludhianvi

2011 April 2: Somewhere around the delayed dinner time of millions of Indians, Mahendra Singh Dhoni launched that famous six to win the second Cricket World Cup for India. Coming 28 years after the first win, Indian fans were over the Moon.
We had Sehwag, Gambhir, Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Kohli, Dhoni, Raina and our test team boasted of Dravid and Laxman too. But over the next 3 years, Dravid and Laxman retired after back to back 4-0 drubbing in test series in England and Australia. Sehwag and Gambhir fell into bad times. Yuvraj Singh could never be the same force after he came back from cancer and Raina slipped into mediocrity. SRT was given a staged farewell at Mumbai. With only Virat Kohli going from strength to strength, MSD too retired midway through a test series Down Under.
Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane had formed a new top order that fought the loss of an entire generation of greats who dominated the decade between 2000 and 2010. Rohit Sharma's emergence as a superlative top order batsman in limited overs Cricket practically coincided with the decline of Sehwag. Indian Cricket marched into newer heights in spite of lack of big titles.
"I can go on with the same intensity for another two-three years. If you ask me when I am 34 - 35, my priorities and answers might be different..." said India Captain Virat Kohli when asked about the hectic schedule and his unflagging intensity. That pretty much sums up life as well as Cricket. Even Sachin Tendulkar has left and it's almost 6 years and India have only got better.

Murali Vijay has faded away. Shikhar Dhawan is more injured than he's on ground, on the verge of 33. Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara are 32 and probably have 2 to 3 years of fag end of their prime left. Kohli and Rahane too aren't far too behind. That means by 2023 to 2024 and 2025, we might have to accept most of the current lot of greats will be out.
Emerging players like Prithvi Shaw, Sarfraz Khan, Shubman Gill, Rishab Pant, Yashaswi Jaiswal, Devdutt Padikkal and already tested ones like KL Rahul, Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Aiyer are reassuring for followers of Indian Cricket. There are several exciting batters and bowlers making their mark and waiting to break into Indian team. While we will be feeling sad for missing our current favourites, we soon will be rooting for the next generation. Life goes on and so does Cricket, till the last wicket falls. Then there will be another match, another set of players and a new set of spectators.
Kal Aur Aayenge Naghmon Ki,
Khilti Kaliaan Chun-newaale
Mujhse Behtar Kehnewaale,
Tumse Behtar Sun-newaale
Kal Koi Mujhko Yaad Kare,
Kyun Koi Mujhko Yaad Kare
Masroof Zamaana Mere Liye
Kyun Waqt Apna Barbaad Kare
Mai Pal Do Pal Ka Shaayar Hoon...
Sahir Ludhianvi
Felt emotional reading Kohli's words. This young man has shown never before passion and grit while representing India in Cricket. Match after match and year after year, he's turned out with the same champion attitude. But he too will retire some day and Indian spectators will wait with excitement for some other man in blue to emerge from the pavilion when the first wicket falls.

Govind Raj Shenoy for DieHard Cricket Fans

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