An Open Letter To Virat Kohli

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Dear Virat,

You know a week back when India slumped down to Pakistan, relinquishing a long-standing victorious streak in the world cups, I challenged everyone who spoke against you, telling them that it was an one off.

When India lost the WTC finals, believe me, I screamed at the top of my lungs to fight anyone who would speak ill of you. People who claimed that you should have been given the cold shoulder, I told them that it is just a matter of time, since you get your intimidating form back.

But today, I am not going to scream for you. Virat Kohli, I am sorry but in the shadow of your ignorance, your arrogance took the front seat while India got in the back burner.

You know, when I started watching cricket, India had just been handed over to Sourav Ganguly in the phase of insane chaos and with a bunch of youngsters trying to make things right. Fans would burn effigies and hurl stones at the houses of their icons if they failed to deliver at the big stage.

There would be chaos, loud rants and absolutely devastating scenes unfolding in the nation whenever the Indian team failed to deliver. Out of that overwhelming madness, a new Indian cricket team was forged. Sourav Ganguly taught the Indian cricket team to look at the opposition in their eye and take them by the scruff of their neck, no matter whosoever it is, even if that mean facing the devil himself.

From Ganguly, the captaincy changed a couple of hands to be picked up by MS Dhoni, who had a calm and yet towering presence and taught India to win at the biggest stages.

Even though, the situations seemed tough, he would come up with bizarre decisions and absolutely insane tactics to mold the fortunes in his own way.

If there was one thing that remained the same between the two most successful captains of the Indian cricket team is that they had this ability to galvanize the team to jump to their own deaths if needed to.

Can you put your hand on your heart and say that if you would ask someone to die for you, they would happily do it? Do you think that you have that kind of a presence as a skipper?

Virat, when India took the field against New Zealand in the ongoing T20 World Cup, right after losing the toss, the body language seemed as if they had already given up.

It felt as if they are the walking dead and they are being forced to play the games. We are all aware of the fact that the toss plays a major role in UAE but even then Rohit Sharma managed to conjure the best from Ishan Kishan wherein you couldn’t even talk your way through the batters.

When the team came out to field, there was no aggression from your end whatsoever and the fielders and the bowlers would hardly bother to keep on hitting the perfect places that would trouble the batters. Kohli, I do not know what is that million-dollar peptalk that you give in the dressing room but there was a time when Sourav Ganguly’s India defended 108 against the mighty Australians while Dhoni’s warriors walked away with the bragging rights defending 1 run from three balls.

You know Virat, making those faces, showing the middle finger to the onlookers, hurling a couple of abuses at the batters isn’t aggression. Aggression is the courage to utilise Hardik Pandya upfront to shuffle things a bit that the Kiwi batters won’t expect.

Since when did media presence and photoshoots become so important for the team that they couldn’t alter the lineup for a second time even after dominating displays in the domestic circuit?

When Kumble had to leave the dressing room because he didn’t gel with you, it opened up a gap. A gap that probably Shastri could never fill and yet he remained at the helm of affairs because drubbing Australia Down Under and winning a couple of Test matches in England is an impossible feat after all. Is it?

Where did that fearless batter in you go, Virat? That aggressive man who would prance down the track in a heartbeat and would take out the bowlers like a man possessed?

Virat, did you forget that iconic scene where you blew a kiss at the fearsome Mitchell Johnson who had a reputation for obliterating the batters?

How can you forget them? Or is it that you are so busy with your off-the-field antiques that playing cricket has become secondary to you? A man who was known for executing those text book strokes with clinical perfection is now getting out to an abysmal sweep shot? Unbelievable.

India boasts of the finest cricket team in the world and has one of the most extraordinary structures of cricket. With all the resources at your disposal, if you still fail to deliver, maybe it is time to reconsider your decisions.

Also, you are announcing a defining decision like the one of renouncing the captaincy just ahead of the World Cup? What is this new tomfoolery of fanfare that you would want to come around you? Maybe, you could have waited at least a while to drop a defeaning moment that would create a thousand ripples.

Virat, maybe its time to take a step back and think. In the next two years, we have three World Championships and we would love to see you shine at your brightest instead of being the trail of a death star. Maybe, it is time that you acknowledge the support, adulation and love that people showers upon you and you play in the fearless way that we knew you for.

I will just quote a Maroon 5 song here, “I cross my heart and hope to…..see Virat once again becoming the king of batsmen”.

A crazy cricket lover.