Not yours, not mine; it is Virat Kohli's Team India
Virat Kohli has struck fear in the opposition s mind. If anything, they try not to pour more fuel to the fire, something he thrives on. Well, he carries his own fire and plays with it.
Kohli is one of those bad guys who do not think of the bad things happening to him Getty Images
If he rips my arms out, I'll kick him to death. If he rips my legs off, I'll bite him to death. If he rips my head off, I'll stare him to death. And if he gouges out my eyes, I'll curse him from the grave. Even If I'm torn to shreds, I'm taking Sasuke back from Orochimaru, exclaims Naruto Uzumaki in a quest to get his best friend Sasuke back from the protagonist of a Japanese manga named Naruto, written by Masashi Kishimoto.
Its predominant theme reminded me of Virat Kohli, someone who endures whatever is thrown at him to shape his destiny the way even the greater men could not. Kohli is much like Naruto and victory is Sasuke, his best friend.
However, such is Kohli s aura that it seems to have infected his teammates.
If Team India want to flex their tattooed muscles, so be it. If Team India want to grow a beard as well, so be it. If Team India want to settle scores and give it back, so be it. If you cannot tell KL Rahul from Kohli, so be it. India are winning. There is nothing greater than that.
Gone are the days when people cheered for individual milestones. If Sachin Tendulkar scored hundred and India lost, people rejoiced Tendulkar s achievement to make up for the defeat. If Kohli scores a hundred and India lose, no one cares what Kohli attained unless one of his records has something to do with Tendulkar.
Of course, there is MS Dhoni, the people s champion. And all hell breaks loose when he features on the big screen. I give you that. But he isn t immune to criticism, either. The swords are drawn from the sheaths as soon as India lose. Indian cricket has changed, and so be it.
Kohli now wants a result. Draws are boring, suggesting that it dulls his senses. Win or lose, he wants a result and no matter at what expense he gets what he wants.
Even if he is proved wrong, he won t change his approach. He is one of those bad guys who do not think of the bad things happening to him. Nothing stops him.
You really expect Kohli to maintain the gentlemanly nature of the game? Get over it. Your expectations do not mean anything to him unless you expect victory at any cost.
He had showed a middle finger to the Australian crowd in their own den. It was like walking coolly in a lion s vicinity.
Now you see Shikhar Dhawan having a go at the opposition; the Gabbar has always been like that, but Kohli does not mind. Ishant Sharma had given a piece of his mind to a few Sri Lankans in 2015; it was Kohli s first tour as full-time captain in Test cricket and the occasion did not stop him from being him. And then there is Rohit Sharma; he does not live under Kohli s shadow, but he has that vigour Kohli yearns for.
Manish Pandey, Umesh Yadav, Murali Vijay, Dhawan, Rahul have tattoos. Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin are not like the others, but they too are like the wildfire waiting to set everything ablaze.
Be it Australia or Bangladesh, they are equally merciless to every opposition. Kohli, by his own admission, doesn't mind being boring if that results in a win.
Such is Kohli s fear that former Australian pacer Jason Gillespie, in an interview with Times of India, had warned the Australians before the ODI series. I don't think Australia need to get into a verbal battle or get into staring competitions with Kohli.
Can you find a better example of irony than this? An Australian gives a word of advice to his countrymen to steer clear of sledging.
Wait, it does not end here. Stuart Clark was on the same page (or lesson) as well. I wouldn t be saying too much to Virat Kohli. He seems to want to fight with everyone and he seems to play ten times better when he does fight with people, he told Indian Express.
If a team can be as good as the captain, can it not also be as bad as him? Kohli has struck fear in the opposition s mind. If anything, they try not to pour more fuel to the fire, something he thrives on. Well, Kohli s men are like him: they carry their own fire and play with it.
It no longer is the Indian team we knew: kind, benevolent, forgiving, or sympathetic. It is Kohli s India now