As indispensable as social media might be in our lives right now, depending on it to come to conclusions about serious, real-world events might lead to rumor-mongering that we certainly do not want to indulge in. However, the unavoidable, if uncomfortable fact is that a lot of our real-life drama nowadays plays out in the virtual sphere.
Thus, the fact that Indian captain Virat Kohli and his actress spouse Anushka Sharma have been unfollowed by star batsman Rohit Sharma has been taken as irrefutable proof by many that all is not well in the highest echelons of the Indian cricket team. It is being suggested that the captain and vice-captain of the team have had a fallout post India's heartbreaking exit from the World Cup.
Anushka for her part had posted a cryptic message on the social media website about 'false appearances' that may or may not have had something to do with Rohit's actions. But if we get down to brass tacks, this alleged rift only spells bad news for Indian cricket.
They are the best batsmen of the team
Rohit broke a plethora of records during his five-century run in the World Cup. He is clearly one of the most devastating batsmen in world cricket now, especially in the limited overs format, and has now made a comeback into the Test squad too.
Kohli has often been called the potential GOAT of batsmanship and not for nothing. His current record is awe-inspiring, and he can only reach bigger milestones in the future.
Kohli has an average of almost 60 in ODIs and more than 50 in both Tests and T20s. He already has more than 11,000 runs in a record-breaking run-spree in ODIs.
Rohit, who took a bit more time than his captain to realize his full potential, is closing in on 10,000 runs in ODIs and has upped his average to almost 50.
These two were the backbone of India's charge in the World Cup, and the team has no replacements for them now. Indian cricket needs them to function together.
They are the brains behind the team
One is the captain and the other the vice-captain. Rohit has captained the team in white-ball cricket when Kohli has been absent. And there has been a clamor to make him the permanent skipper in the shorter formats after India's exit, considering his excellent record as Mumbai Indians' skipper in the Indian Premier League.
The Indian team presented a triumphant and united front in the World Cup, whatever the internal tussles may be. And the Men in Blue need to carry on with the same spirit.
The Indian cricket team of the '90s was often torn apart by ego clashes in the dressing room. That is why their talent often didn't translate into the results that the team were capable of achieving.
India would not want to go back to those dark ages. They need these two figures to function together as the World Test Championship begins and the World T20 looms on the horizon in 2020.
They are not getting younger
Kohli is 30 and Rohit 32. The 50-over World Cup in 2023 on home soil will in all probability be their last chance to lift the trophy together, and India might struggle to replace what these two stalwarts bring to the table.
More urgently, it will be an irreparable loss to the team if the post-mortem following India's exit leads to a breakdown in team chemistry. Whoever captains the team is a separate issue, but neither of these players is disposable as they strive to go all the way in major tournaments.Published 26 Jul 2019, 21:14 IST