If you are responsible for the happiness and well-being of a country of 1.2 billion people, it must be real hard. Most of them are always thinking of your contribution to their progress and are constantly criticizing your every move. Yes, being the captain of the Indian cricket team can sometimes be a lot of pressure, but you need to be up for the task.
The whole world knows about India’s obsession with cricket. When Americans visit the country, they are so mesmerized by the entire environment that the game brings. We place so much emphasis and happiness on the outcome of our favourite teams that at points it has bordered or even tipped over the extreme.
The captain is never forgiven:
How much ever he contributes with the bat, ball or the field, the Indian cricket captain is never forgiven when the team loses. That is the sad reality of having the mantle. Right from the time the sport was introduced and CK Nayudu led our country against the English, India constantly feels the blame has to fall on that one person – the leader.
How many times have we seen mobs burn effigies of captains after a failure in a major tournament? Sometimes, and only sometimes are they spared but those instances form a very small percentage. The Indian captain has to put on a brave face and meet the press reporters after the game and has to face some of the toughest questions.
Face the music or bust:
There’s a reason the Indian captain is under so much pressure. He has too many tasks to handle apart from focusing on his own game. That is why the captain deserves a large chunk of the praise whenever the team ends up winning.
He has to first figure out a settled team and work with so many egos in the squad. Every player selected will feel that they are worthy to play every single game and the captain has to coerce them into understanding if they do not fit into his plans. Then, he also has to take care of the BCCI and the selection committee. They might have a lot of disagreements and the captain must be good enough to negotiate.
Also, during the game, a lot of decisions need to be taken ad-hoc. Only the captain has the power to take a certain decision or risk and if it does not pay off, he is castigated.
You are answerable to 1.2 billion fans who feel they have better cricketing knowledge than you despite not stepping onto the field. Bring all this together and you have the simplest job of leading the team out and standing for the toss.
Good luck, Virat Kohli. The road ahead is pretty hard.