Kohli’s Moment of Indiscretion Does Not Cover Him With Glory
Needed more of cricket, less of temperament
Predictably enough Virat Kohli’s video (we know which one, don’t we?) is very much the talking point not only in cricketing circles but also among the general public. Given his status as India’s cricket captain, the biggest sporting personality, the leading batsman in the world and someone who can do no wrong at the moment anything about Kohli is news – even when it is not strictly on the field and even when it is not for the right reasons.
For once the centuries, Tendulkar’s records and other strictly cricketing matters have been put on the back burner. And all this for a few moments of indiscretion – and here I am being polite – on his part.
A public figure has a certain responsibility. He should know when to speak, what to speak and to whom he is is speaking. And these days in the age of technology and social media it is all the more imperative to be extra careful. After all what you say or do is recorded for posterity and there is no question of denying anything or uttering the favourite quote of public figures - '' I have been misquoted’’. .
Cricket followers and fans can say almost anything but not the public figure who has to be careful with what he says and does. Kohli right now is arguably the most well known and famous person in the land. He is at the zenith of his cricketing powers. As a batsman he is second to none in the contemporary game. As a captain he has recently led India to victories in more than one format. And his marriage to Bollywood star Anushka Sharma has given him a glamorous image along with his exalted status which few enjoy in this country. He is taking a well deserved break from the game even as the T20 series against the West Indies is being played out. But surely he can use the break in much better ways than than getting embroiled in controversy – one that could easily have been avoided and is largely self inflicted.
From the moment he burst upon the international stage Kohli has been well known for his batting skills – and for his short temper. For long he was one of the worst behaved players in international cricket thanks to his unseemly gestures, arrogant attitude and unacceptable language. With age he thankfully became mellow and captaincy and his marriage to Anushka – which he has acknowledged more than once has been a sobering influence on him – saw his behavior improve. But now and then the temperamental behavior does rise to the surface and the video is but the latest in a long line of such misdemeanours. This is also seen in his reaction to the criticism in which he has not apologized but sidestepped the issue in almost cavalier fashion.
The best way would have been to ignore such remarks or even if he wanted to react it could have been done in a measured or balanced tone. Unfortunately Kohli retorted in a manner not at all befitting a person of his stature. To say that it was an overreaction is putting it mildly. One can only hope that we will no more see and read about Kohli the temperamental person and see and read more about Kohli the entertaining batsman supreme.