Stereotypically, tall and well-built guys are considered to be scary and dominant. Just as there is an exception to every rule, there is one to this one too! Virat Kohli: stature: physique: slight, prominence: enormous. Although his height may be short, his personality is towering. Taking him lightly is making a huge mistake, for one look at his face and you know he means business.
There are no neutral opinions about him; either you love him or you hate him, he is just that kind of a guy. He sort of comes across like Kevin Pietersen at times: bold, rebellious and larger than life. One more similarity: finding himelf in the news time and again.
This week it was for two reasons. So what came first, the poll results or the captaincy?
Let’s go with the more consequential one first: the captaincy. Disclaimer: although last year’s news, this isn’t too old!
On 30th December 2014, Mahendra Singh Dhoni pulled the rabbit out of the hat once again. He declared his retirement from Test cricket, shocking teammates and fans alike and staying unpredictable till the very end. I won’t be surprised if he has got a few more tricks up his sleeve.
As a direct result of this, Virat Kohli was named Test captain of the Indian Cricket Team.
Since Kohli can absolutely not do without some spice, it’s time to add some to this article as well! Later the same week, he found himself in public eye once again. In a poll conducted by news.com.au, he was voted “the biggest sports jerk of the week”.
Kohli has been involved in various verbal spats with the Aussies on the field. Whenever the Australians have provoked him or indulged in sledging, he has given it right back. “I know the Australians do not respect me and I like that because it helps me play better”, he said. The Australian players called him a “spoilt brat”.
Personally, I’m a big fan of the Virat Kohli attitude. He gives out the air that he cannot be messed with. He fights fire with fire.
Team director, Ravi Shastri, has expressed his views on Kohli’s flamboyant (some would say arrogant) personality. In an interview, he defended it by saying: “What is wrong with that aggressive attitude? If he was only talking on the field and had scored only 5 runs in three Tests, I would have had a word with him. But he is 1 run short of 500 runs in this series. So obviously he is doing something right and it is working wonders for him and the team of course. He is an aggressive cricketer and he loves this attitude on the field and it brings out the best in him.”
His outlook towards decision-making is go big or go home, and he always has an aggressive approach. Many would question if this type of mentality is compatible with test matches, but I think it is. You play to win, not to draw, and if going for the win involved the risk of losing, then so be it.