For much of his career, Virat has been criticised for his on-field antics. However, it may be unfair to call him a brash cricketer as he may be just living his part as a "typical Delhi character"
Virat Kohli virtually swept the ICC awards this year, cementing his place among cricket’s all-time greats. His achievements as a player and as captain are akin to those of Sachin Tendulkar and Vivian Richards. Despite his image as a world-beating batsman, he attracts a lot of negative publicity through his on-field antics, often to the extent of being termed as a brash individual who wears his emotion on his sleeve. But is his on-field persona real? Can a hot-headed person survive at the top of competitive cricket? Or is it just a mask he puts on every time he steps into the field?
Senior sports commentator Indranil Basu believes Kohli’s is like a typical Delhi character. “He just wants to go and conquer. Look at Shah Rukh Khan. If anything wrong, people from Delhi will get angry just like what happened with Shah Rukh Khan in Wankhede.”
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Virat Kohli, like PM Narendra Modi, is a one man army. “However, cricket is not a one man show. It won’t help the team when only you are performing. In 2011, this team had so many stars, but the current team only has Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.”
When asked if any other extremely hot-headed player can score with Virat’s consistency, he said, “Yes. absolutely possible. You have to be aggressive with your bat. Kohli is in tremendous control of everything, which is the main reason where he is today.”
Basu believes that even though Kohli is great, he stands nowhere in comparison to Viv Richards in post -Bradman era. “The best batsman is Viv Richards, no other like him.”
Virat’s on-field aggression has made it to headlines on many occasions. In the Perth Test during the recently concluded series where India scripted history, Kohli’s heated conversation with his Australian counterpart Time Paine went on air. The conversation between the two was clearly audible. A number of images showing Indian skipper’s aggressive celebration have also gone viral.
Given his popularity, Virat’s off-field actions also catch people’s attention. Right from former cricketers to veteran filmstars like Naseeruddin Shah found him too aggressive. However, Kohli remained focussed on his task without bothering what was being said about him. While some senior cricketers have found his behaviour unwanting, VVS Laxman came out in Kohli’s support saying he found nothing wrong with Kohli’s attitude in Australia.
Virat’s captaincy skills remind one of Sourav Ganguly, who was also criticised for his aggressive nature during his playing days. The former captain whose iconic image of pulling out his shirt after the famous Natwest series win in England is still fresh in minds of cricket fans.
When Ganguly was captain, he also faced a lot of criticism for his aggressive nature. It was under his captaincy that India was able to halt Australia’s 16-match winning run. when the latter visited the country in 2001. He even went on to lead India in the World Cup final in 2003.
One hopes like Ganguly and MS Dhoni, he not only leads India in the upcoming World Cup final but also win it like the latter did. Keeping in mind that Virat’s aggression ends up giving India good results, there’s not much reason why he should mind!