Friday, February 4, 2022

Indian Cricket's tradition of mistreating Cricketing Heroes

We continue our age old tradition of shabby treatment of our cricketing heroes starting from Vijay Manjrekar, the latest victim being the incomparable Virat Kohli. I felt very sad watching him play in the recent matches. It seemed someone had squeezed the life out of him and he was just going through the motions. As a captain he was on the go all the time looking for a run when batting and a breakthrough when fielding. He had the energy and reserve to lead in all 3 formats of the game. That by any standard would require an exceptional level of concentration not to mention a phenomenal level of fitness. And he proved right on both grounds. 
There never was a dull moment on the field with him on the field and kept all the other players on their toes. He led by example and always gave 100 %. It must be said that all 3 formats of the game requiring different tactics and strategies would have put extreme pressure on him physically and mentally but it was never visible looking at him. But in the later stages of his career it must have affected him in some way. 

In hindsight if he didn't take the mantle of captaincy and just concentrated on his batting he probably would have scored 100 centuries with consummate ease. Despite that he achieved great goals in Test Cricket and took India to number 1 position and competed fiercely in the other 2 formats and the least the BCCI could have done is to give him freedom of choice to make his decisions about his future. Instead they imposed sanctions on his free spirit and as a result we may not see the real fighter on the cricket field again. Under the circumstances he may play for a while but I won't be surprised  if he hung his bat and called it a day. I fail to understand why do the politicians or their dear ones need to get involved with the running of the game. We have such a superb array of ex-cricketers who performed exceptionally well on the cricket field and given the chance I am sure will excel at running the cricket board and the players will feel secure in the knowledge that they are under the care of the experts in the game. I really wish that we learn how to treat our heroes otherwise I am afraid Virat won't be the last one in the already a long list of our illtreated heroes.

Dr. K.K. Srivastava for DieHard Cricket Fans

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Virat Kohli – The Talisman Red Ball Indian Captain

“We want to be fearless, that’s the brand of cricket we would like to play”. Virat Kohli was chalking out a new roadmap for Indian cricket in the red ball format. His captaincy style discarded the defensive approach and drove the team to not settle for anything less than a win.
Kohli started his test captaincy in 2014, after Dhoni’s sudden retirement from test cricket during the Australian tour. In 2011-12, the team had been drubbed 4-0 in tours to England and Australia. It was at that time that Kohli took on the baton. A small teaser was the 2014 Adelaide test where the Indian cricket team fought for a win, going against expectations for a draw.

Virat’s mantra to win matches abroad was to get 20 wickets irrespective of the conditions. He, along with the support staff, created a pool of fast bowlers who were relentless and fearless. And, spinners took care of most test matches at home. Kohli’s tough period started with South Africa away tour, then England tour, finally to Australia. Though the SA and England test results were not in favor, there was a paradigm shift in Indian test cricket. The approach was bold, strategic, and most importantly, invoked fear in the minds of the opposition. Kohli always questioned the conventional wisdom, played 5 batsmen, 4 fast pacers and vouched more for all-rounders. At that time, it drew irks but the result was bound to come.