SANDIPAN BANERJEE | 21 JANUARY, 2018
Can’t Virat Kohli Be Little More Humble After A Defeat?
Banerjee reports from Centurion, Cape Town
Yet another overseas series defeat for India. Following a stream of success on sub-continental conditions (and on similar pitches in West Indies), this tour of South Africa has been the first exposure outside its comfort zone for this Virat Kohli-led team. And here we are, India, the No.1 Test side in the world according to the ICC rankings, are 0-2 down after two Tests in a three-match series. The threat of a humiliating whitewash is on the cards and yet the skipper is not ready to answer the tough questions. Instead he argues with journalists on a post-match presser.
It is high time that Kohli should take help from professionals, who can teach him how to deal with the media following a series defeat. It will only help him in the future on similar situations (there are a few overseas tours lined up this year).
After losing the Champions Trophy final to Pakistan last year, Kohli was focusing on the effort of the boys, rather than the result. On Wednesday, in Centurion, he once again showed his lack of accountability as a captain following a failure.
Kohli was simply not ready to accept that he (and the team management) misread the wicket and made selection blunders, which was the main reason behind the South Africans completely outplaying the Indians on a wicket which was more suited to the visitors.
In fact, he stuck to his point that India played its ‘best XI’ in Centurion.
“What's the best XI?” When being asked by an Indian journalist regarding Kohli started combating the scribe with his arrogance.
“But you're saying... you're telling me we could have played the best XI. So you tell me the best XI and we'll play that. I'm saying the loss obviously hurts. But you make one decision and you back it. We certainly don't sit here and say, 'oh if you fail in one game you are not good enough to be at this level or...' once the team loses.
“Didn't we lose in India? We had the best XI there. Whoever plays should be good enough to go out there and do the job for the team. That's why we've got such a big squad. Because we believe in their abilities and they are good enough to be at this level, but you need to do that collectively as a team. You can't pinpoint and say this is the best XI. 'We played with teams before that have looked really strong and have lost as well. So, I certainly don't bend towards that opinion at all. “
Well, I feel, if Kohli and his team would have shown such aggression on the field rather than in the press conference room, then we might have had a different result.
Later, when a South African journalist questioned Kohli about his habit of chopping and changing in the playing eleven, the Indian skipper seemed even more annoyed. Instead of answering that relevant question, he started advertising his captaincy record (20 wins out of 34 matches). Though he did not put any emphasis on the fact that all the success under his tenure, so far, has come on favourable conditions.
“Does it [only winning at home] matter? Wherever we play we try to do our best. I'm here to answer your questions, not to fight with you.”
Wow, what a justification from the skipper!
It seems Kohli’s team does not have a problem with the tag of “home track bully.” But, being a part of the Indian media contingent here in South Africa, his mindless squabble in the post-match press conference, has been quite embarrassing for me.
Victory and defeat are the part and parcels of the game. Nobody is denying that. But it is important whether the losing side is learning from its mistakes or not. At times there is no harm accepting your blunders. One can only improve by doing that. But Kohli is a kind of character, who likes to justify his mistakes, at least in front of the press, which on occasions defies logic.
However, captaining a well followed team like India, is a prestigious job. Kohli should understand that any misconduct on his part can harm the image of the entire team. He certainly needs to work on his off the field attitude, especially when things are not in his favour. If he can’t then the Board of Control for Cricket in India should consider strict prosecution, otherwise captain Kohli will keep on humiliating Indian cricket, both on and off the field.