Thursday, August 2, 2012

Going gaga over Virat Kohli - Why?

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Yuvraj Singh was perhaps the first star cricketer, born out of exploits solely in the shorter formats. Michael Bevan was also an ODI-only finisher of great repute but he was a specialist never a true star.

The reaction to Yuvraj even at the height of his exploits seemed reasonably tempered. After all, India’s greats were very much in prime form when Yuvraj was clobbering Stuart Broad for half a dozen sixes in an over. The benchmark for expectations was higher a decade ago. Perhaps it’s a commentary on how badly India is in need of new blood when Virat Kohli’s sustained success; albeit only in the shorter formats, gets so much praise and endorsement from all; convinced that he is a future great.

491 Test runs from 15 innings @ 32 runs an innings with a solitary, garishly celebrated 100 in Australia is no reason for the kind of gushing that is currently on, in the media.

One may be tempted to suggest that the game and its spectators have changed. Perhaps success in formats that were previously thought of as side acts on tours have become the main event, legitimizing performances as authentic. Then again Pollard from the West Indies renders this suggestion lame. People in general, do reserve judgment on his quality till he develops into a Test player.

May be the unabashed praise Virat Kohli generates has to do largely with the plight of India’s ageing seniors. Squabbling over the captaincy, rotation policies, and an abject surrender of the most coveted title in cricket; the World #1 ranking in Tests

Whatever the reason for celebrating Virat Kohli’s successes, they seem premature. His performance has been stellar in the ODI game, but I can’t help but question the quality of the contests, the nature of the tracks they have come on, the intensity of the opposition and occasion and the prestige of the tournaments. Sri Lanka in this series is so tired that they may lose a game even if India actually does not show up for a match.

And there is no harm if meaningless ODIs are helping Virat’s cause. My worry is that these side shows will condemn Rohit Sharma’s career the Vinod Kambli way.


Vidooshak said...

Let's celebrate Kohli's achievements. He's in the form of his life. I agree about the meaningless ODIs part, but others aren't cashing in the way he is.

Maybe, he'll buck the trend and become the test batsman we all hope he becomes. I see nothing wrong with going ga-ga over Kohli.

I don't see the connection between Kohli's success and it's supposed negative impact on Rohit Sharma. Truth is that both have played nearly the same number of ODIs (88 & 82). One is a vice-captain, while another is still trying to solidify his place in the side. So comparisions are inevitable and Rohit (as much as my heart bleeds for him), needs to deliver with more consistency.

Golandaaz said...

Point is; in another time Kohli would have had to prove his test worth before earning these accolades.

Even I think he will be a fine Test player just pointing out how we have just looked at the trailor and given him a 5 star rating already.

I just can't get myself to feel that an ODI/T20 only series is an actual series. ODIs were always more fun when they were in the context of a test series.

Initially I used to lap up the tri-serieses and the Rothman's Australiasia Cups but over time even they lost charm because there was nothing foundationally prestigious about these events

As far as Rohit goes, he needs to play for India based on his domestic Ranji performances. He will turn out fine

Vidooshak said...

We should probably be worried about Pujara as well. He has test pedigree and the media and selectors might marginalized him ala Laxman due to lack of IPL success.

Vivek said...

To imply that somebody's hard work and talent will impede other's progress doesn't make sense at all. Kambli must himself be blamed for his inconsistency and lack of focus despite his awesome talent and Rohit should be too. He frankly can't be compared with him. He has been given maximum chances amongst the youngsters and I don't understand what the hype about him really is, he doesn't seem to work hard at all, so he pretty much deserves to be dropped after so many failures. Forget about test matches, he fails in ODIs too, which you consider "meaningless" and useless(and easy opposition etc). If it is so easy then why is he failing? The points you use to demean Kohli's success, you ignore the same for Rohit's average or poor performances. Measure them using the same yard-stick, if you want to compare them. Kohli deserves all the praise he's getting due to his consistently great ODI run in last 2 yrs, which has been rare for our batsmen these days.

Yes, I don't agree with his hot-headedness at times, but as long as it helps him succeed, I don't care and nobody should.

As Vidooshak mentioned, he has got enough opportunities purely due to the potential people saw in him more than his performances, so guess he should fix his game and mind and make a comeback. Till then Rahane and Pujara can be better options both in tests/ODIs.

Golandaaz said...

Hi Vivek, You made a lot of inferences that I never made :-)

All I am saying is that in a past era (a decade ago) we would have all demanded that Kohli first prove his success in Tests. Today we seem to be okay with a Test average of 32

I am not questioning his ODI skills and success but I do wonder if these ODIs are a good benchmark. ODIs in general are not meaningless; but this one sure is...

As for Rohit Sharma, it would be a pity if we drop from our Test plans purely based on these failures in ODIs.

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