CWC 2019: One triumph and all will be forgiven for Virat Kohli
It's not easy being Virat Kohli. He's the best batsman in the world. Not only in ODIs or in tests or T20s. He's the best batsman in the world. Period. There's no country no continent no Island in the world where he has not imposed his will.
In the last 3-4 years, he's been heads and shoulders above everyone when it comes runs scored or centuries made. Even in this year's World Cup even though there will be many contenders, Virat remains the odds on favorite to be the highest run scorer in the tournament.
For many, this should be enough. For Kohli, it isn't. He not only has to take care of his form but also the form of his team. He has to make plans about who the best eleven players should be for the squad. But most importantly, for a cricket frenzied nation like India, he has to win the cup. Anything less than that is labelled a failure.
In the previous edition, despite not having the best team in any way, MS Dhoni was able to drag the team to the semifinals and still faced scrutiny from media. This time around, India by all accounts has a squad that can win the cup. This is where the pressure will build on Kohli. Not many doubt his ability with the bat in hand. There's hardly anyone better than him. But when he dons the hat of a captain the doubters start coming out.
They ask a lot of questions. They point at his IPL record and compare it with his contemporaries in the team. They point at the plight faced by RCB and his shortcomings while leading them while Rohit Sharma and Dhoni stand out as leaders in the same tournament. In a way, the argument is not that far fetched if we think about it.
Kohli as a captain has had some rough moments and he will be under pressure for sure. But there's this saying is this sport, "You're only as good as your last tournament." Kohli gets a great chance to redeem himself if he can pull off what many feels is possible with the team at his disposal.
India has two of the best batsmen in ODIs in recent times in Kohli and Rohit, and two of the best ODI bowlers - Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah. To add to this they have Dhoni, the master tactician and one of the best finishers in the game and Hardik Pandya, one of the more destructive batsmen in the world.
The team can win the World Cup and if Kohli doesn't complicate things too much and the team sticks to their game plan, they can win the cup. One that is done all of the criticisms and the barbs that have been drawn in the media will be forgotten. He'll have the distinction of captaining both the ODI and the Under-19 teams to World Cup Triumphs.
This is one of the best Indian teams to ever walk out on the field and if they do the business, Kohli will get his share of the cherry as well.