When a Maverick hits a century
For quite some time now, we all would have been noticing one very common thing – every time Virat Kohli hits a century, he would let himself cut loose and celebrate it in a way that an Indian fan would not have seen ever before from anyone else. Suddenly we see that the commentators who were till then banking on Kohli to win the match for India suddenly start cornering him for his attitude. They cite Sachin, Laxman and Dravid who keep their composure and go on to make a century in a dignified way.
Is it really a grave concern? I don’t think so, neither does Kohli! Sunil Gavaskar commented during one such century celebration that the youth should only learn positive things from Kohli and leave out such exuberance. But I think Kohli actually represents today’s youth who do not want to hold back their emotions and live the life to its fullest. This man played his heart out in crunch situations and came out victorious- doesn’t he deserve to celebrate when he does so?
I think it is actually very ironic to see such senior cricketers trying to belittle the genius in Kohli. These are the same people who advocate for aggression and ruthlessness in cricket. And now when they see some of it in an Indian player, they suddenly get back to their defensive mode just to make sure that they are on the greener side of morality.
People say that he is just 23 and that what he shows on the field is a mere result of his immaturity. I beg to differ. I think he is the most matured cricketers among the young lot. For a youngster who has tasted success at a very early age (Under-19 World Cup winning captain), he has shown the world that he is good at keeping himself grounded and looks forward towards a better future. With 11 international centuries in almost no time, I don’t understand if any other player ever has matured at the rate that Kohli has.
Then there is this old school of people who think that such celebrations could make him lose his cool. Kohli replied appropriately when he went on to make a fluent 183 in that pressure game against Pakistan in Asia cup. I think we should all applaud Sachin for backing Kohli who thinks that a promising cricketer in Kohli should not be put under such undue pressure because at one point of time or the other, such criticism is going to force him to change the way in which he approaches his game. And if that happens, it is going to be disastrous, both for Kohli and the Indian Cricket.