As the dust settles on Virat Kohli’s last appearance as captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), it is time to look ahead at what this result means for Kohli, the captain of India. In his words, he has given 120 percent to the RCB job.
Needless to say, he was passionate, committed and did all that is expected of a captain in trying to encourage his players to excel. As a batter, he tried to lead from the front and on occasions like in 2016, he almost single-handedly took RCB beyond the line on more occasions than one.
Having said all of this, he ends his tenure without winning an IPL title. And as a human being, the result is bound to weigh in on his mind. As a proud performer, he wants to win each time he steps out.
When he doesn’t, pressure is sure to mount. He is Virat Kohli after all. The best player of our time and someone who is leading the Indian cricket team, the most high profile cricket team in the world. Going into the T20 World Cup, Virat will know this is his last opportunity.
He wouldn’t want to end with a bare cabinet and this is his last hurrah. Unless he wins this trophy for India, he would finish without a single major T20 trophy as captain, and that wouldn’t look good for his legacy. That’s where his teammates need to step up.
The 2011 World Cup was all about Sachin Tendulkar, and fulfilling his dream. He had been around for 22 years and had not yet won the World Cup. His teammates did it for him and then carried him around on their shoulders. The narrative was about Sachin.
2011 was about Sachin, 2021 is about Virat
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It is time the boys do it in the T20 World Cup 2021 for their skipper, and of course, for India. While there is never a need for extra motivation when playing for the country, to do it for the captain is always an extra incentive. It will be fitting if Virat wins it as captain. Not only will it add to his legacy, it will also mean that Virat the batter will continue his career with far less pressure on his shoulders.
For us, it is time to back him and the team. Yes,he has made mistakes as captain. Not bowling Shahbaz in his last game was one such error. However, a great team compensates for such mistakes and that’s what we will expect from this Indian side as they take on Pakistan on 24 October.
2011 was about Sachin. 2021 is about Virat. The master to the protégé.