Indian cricket seems to have got some issues. The latest episode between Virat Kohli and Sourav Ganguly has unnerved not only the team but has also sent chills to the cricket fans in India. In a rather surprising call, BCCI decided to sack Virat Kohli from the ODI captaincy. It was evident that Kohli wanted to continue as the ODI skipper but was not considered a right fit any longer by the BCCI. Later, Ganguly clarified that the decision to remove Kohli was to minimize the excessive leadership in white ball game. According to him, India would do good with one white ball and one red ball skipper. Some people did buy this reasoning; however, the reality is that the most successful white ball captain in Indian cricket has been removed because he hasn’t been able to win an ICC trophy.
Is Kohli sacking justified?
Kohli’s batting credentials are beyond question. However, there were murmurs that his leadership skills were not really appreciated by the group. Kohli is not a people man, and has never been a people man. He has been a warrior right from the day he made his debut. He wore his aggression on his sleeve and didn’t mind expressing himself on the field. He was and still is the angry young man of Indian cricket. A man who doesn’t know anything but perfection and chases it unabashedly. Behavioral correctness is something that didn’t feature in his manuscript of cricket or even life. He chased success like a true maverick at the cost of becoming the most disliked cricketer; and went beyond success. The world embodied this fierce attitude and celebrated it.
What is the problem now?
Is it the lack of ICC trophy or the increasing unacceptance of the erstwhile cherished attitude? The records suggest that Kohli is still the most successful ODI captain when you look at the numbers. And with the upcoming world cup to be scheduled in India, there is every chance that India would win it regardless of the leader. There were also few cricketers who were unhappy with the way they were treated or removed from the team. Kohli’s leadership credentials were questioned.
Is Rohit Sharma a good replacement?
Rohit, as a person is opposite of Kohli. Everything that Kohli embodies, Rohit disembodies. These two cricketers have polarized the Indian fraternity, from fans to BCCI. Kohli’s aggression versus Rohit’s calmness. Kohli’s belligerence versus Rohit’s friendliness. There had always been two choices with Indian cricket fans. Initially, BCCI and everyone in Indian cricket very rightly felt that Kohli would be a great leader. Kohli’s aggression and success fueled him to the post of captaincy. In a parallel one-day universe, Rohit became a great ODI batsman and a successful vice-captain. These two figures who were poles-apart worked sturdily to take Indian cricket to greater heights.
Why change in leadership?
As happens with everything, people tend to change sides, and switch beliefs and preferences. And when the other option looks equally good, they can go with it. Rohit’s anointment as ODI skipper is nothing more than a change in BCCI’s attitude and thinking as to what is right for the Indian Cricket. The reason for this change in attitude is however unknown. More than saying anything about Kohil’s leadership, which had always been a particular type (and successful), the decision to make Rohit Sharma skipper says more about the template of the Indian captain. BCCI has redefined how Indian captain should be like, and in that template Kohli probably doesn’t fit.
What Kohli should do?
Kohli is someone who has always stood out fearlessly. As a leader or not, he embodies an attitude that is responsible for making him who he is. He should continue to do what he does best. Play cricket in a manner that nobody has ever played. And am sure, he would do just that.
Also, see https://writesblog.in/2022/01/11/why-loners-are-the-best-people/
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