Former Indian cricketer and BCCI's Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) member Madan Lal spoke, on Monday, regarding how India captain Virat Kohli is being targeted by sections of the media and fans who want him to mellow down and curb his aggression. Lal believes that Kohli's brand of aggression is needed in the modern-day game and it is what makes him different from the others. It is his unique selling point.
Lal said that earlier the Indian public wanted their cricket team to display aggression while on the field and now that Kohli and his team are doing so, they are being criticised. It is this hypocritical nature of the Indian public that Lal has taken particular dislike to. His comments come after Kohli was seen giving send-offs to his Kiwi counterpart Kane Williamson in the recently-concluded Test series between India and New Zealand. Kohli was also seen swearing at sections of the Hagley Oval crowd in Christchurch, where the second Test took place.
Lal was responsible along with other members of the CAC for appointing two new selectors of the national team Suni Joshi and Harvinder Singh. He believes that being aggressive is in Kohli's blood and this is what makes him such a good player. It has to be agreed upon that Kohli has made his standing as one of the best, if not the best player of the world by being who he is. His character cannot be faulted for being proactive and in-your-face.
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Former India captain Rahul Dravid had said earlier that every player must understand what it is that gets the best out of them and work towards honing themselves in that direction. In Kohli's case, being aggressive and loud-mouthed has helped him, as his performances across all formats testify. It is what works best for him. It must also be noted that, such a personality trait may work only for him or selected individuals and need not be fitting for all. For example, players such as Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha, and Ajinkya Rahane get the best out of themselves by being sedate and going about their business quietly.
The Indian captain is a different kind of a person who thrives in winding others up so that he can get the best out of himself. Former Australian captain Steve Waugh and England's Kevin Pietersen were of a similar mould too. Kohli is also among those rare batsmen who do not hesitate to give it back verbally if they are being sledged. If this is what keeps him going, then there is nothing for us to force him to change his ways.
There is no need for Kohli to change himself and although he had a poor run with the bat in New Zealand, it does not change him being one of the players in the world. He is simply going through a rough patch and needs to get his rhythm going before India's next assignment. The break given to the Indian team owing to the coronavirus scare will give him enough time to work on his shortcomings.