Australia vs India 2018-19: Being Virat Kohli is tough

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Bimarsh Adhikari

I genuinely have no idea about how cool or how tough it is to become a representative of more than a billion hearts in the international arena of professional cricket. To be honest, I even don't know how it is to be surrounded by millions of experts and analysts, fans and fanatics, some professional, some self-proclaimed, each of them putting their beliefs and thoughts at superiority, at the highest rank possible.

How would I know how the captain thinks, how he comprehends the situation and thrive out in a pressure situation? If I know a single fact about being a cricket leader and icon of the most-populated cricket nation, I am sure there are hundreds of sacrifices I am yet to know about, several heart-breaks which I can't feel as deeply as he does.

Life is tough when a single statement is enough to label you as a hero, or a villain, or an inhuman-human. I play a lot of cricket, in the gullies with my friends, so have you. Trust me (I believe you have had the same feeling), even losing a single match pulls me out of my comfort zone; dropping the most-important catch of the opposition feels like hell. Then, what about the best batsman in the world who sweats hours and hours just to make his country proud?

Yeah, I definitely know that no pride can come close to the pride of representing and leader your mother-nation internationally in any field. But does the opportunity knock at every person's door? Of course, no. Having followed every of Virat's social media profiles, listening to every statement of his and collecting information about him in every possible site, I have learned that greatness hides all your tears and sacrifices. Never in my wildest dreams can I think of any Indian captains running politics in the team; but exceptions do exist, even in the truest theories in science.

But, how have we fans treated the players who have been chosen as the best in their countries? Yes, it's good if the captain listens to each and every one of us (That's near-to-impossible with millions of people raising their voices), but whom shall the captain follow, we or the crew of experts, called 'Team management', who spend all their time researching about the qualities, prospects and probabilities of the players, before finally choosing one from tons who can add value to the team, or his own instincts? Well, a mixture of all, but in a ratio which values his own instincts more than anything else. To be fair, that's what we call 'politics'.

When a captain shows belief in a player whom we think is finished, we term it as 'politics'; when a captain follows his instincts, opposing the opinions of the analysts who run shows covering their analysis, it's 'politics'. Somehow, that's because we have a lot of time to watch all those pre and post-match analysis, but we tend to ignore some of the press conferences where the captain tries to clarify why he chose one player ahead of the other?

Having said these, I also admit that there have been some failures from the side of the team management and captain Kohli, maybe because of misreading the pitch or getting carries away with other influences. But at the end of the day, those mistakes are not deliberate, a captain would never want to make such mistakes.

Dhoni makes a brave move, if it works, fine, but if it doesn't, all of a sudden fans lash out labeling him as selfish; same with Kohli and same with Ganguly when he desperately wanted Anil Kumble in the team (He was even warned of being sacked as the Indian captain when he wanted Kumble in the team at any cost.)

For instance, Kohli played Kuldeep Yadav in one of the Tests in England; Kuldeep was wicketless and India couldn't take even ten wickets against England. The fans were all out at Kohli, with disrespectful statements for picking Kuldeep in that Test. Now, when it looked like a fast-bowling paradise in the Optus Stadium and no spinner was played by India, we are missing a spinner and our experts all of a sudden have advocated for Kuldeep in the Test squad for the final two Tests.

When Kohli dropped India's vice-captain who was running out of form for two years, it's a bad tactic. When will we realize that experiments help to bring out the best playing XI? Experiments can go wither ways, some work while some fail. Experiments don't come to results in advance. What if Sachin was dropped from the ODI side because of a not-so-good debut? What if S Badrinath was continued by India instead of a young, chubby Kohli?

Remaining silent before the experiment and criticizing some moves after they go wrong, is this what 'being an expert' means? Absolutely, not. Change begins from oneself; know yourself and judge yourself; judge if you belong to the group of fans which has been discussed here.

Last but not the least, it's important for all to know that being Kohli, or being a captain of any cricket team in the highest level is tough; the sacrifices of all those captains and team players should not be concealed.

Edited by Vineet Aiyer
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