Why you need to fall in love with Virat Kohli!
Sure he’s brash, sure he’s arrogant, sure he’s oozing with confidence, sure he’s raring to go. Well then, don’t we all want some of that? Isn’t the new brand of India all about that? Has anyone lately heard anyone, foreign or domestic, diplomat or business man, celebrity or common man, say anything different about India today?
Back in ‘91, when our economy opened up, we had to fold our hands before foreign institutions and countries and beg them to invest in our country. We were polite and watchful, appealing to the world to consider us as a destination of prospects. Not because that was our culture but because we ourselves were unsure of how things would pan out for this enormous nation. We were cautious, afraid to commit, averse to take risks and played watchfully.
That was the mind-set of India at that time. Times have changed, so have India. We no longer beg, we beg to differ. We don’t wait for opportunities, we create them. We don’t just rise to applaud, we rise to accept the applause. Our industry is confident, our youth ambitious, our poor hopeful and our government responsible.
Hmm, who is Virat then? Does he not represents the new India? Confident to take on the world, ambitious to be the best in business, carries hopes of millions of Indian fans, and is responsible and yes, accountable to the countless expectations.
“You give me crap, I’ll give it back with interest; you disrespect me, I’ll not just earn it, I’ll demand it; you sledge me, you wish you never had because you’re in for more than a mouthful; you ignore me, well then too bad because I’m the star the world is looking at!!’
Is it Virat who I am talking about or is it the new India which we all want to believe in and be living in? This is not a mere reflection of his 100 against Pakistan in ‘yet another’ World Cup victory over the arch-rivals, but the reflection of a boy whom a former Delhi bred first class cricketer (yours truly) has closely seen, followed and revered. I played against him on four occasions, first time seen him as a 14-year-old kid taking his club side to victory and last time, as a 20-year-old Indian prodigy who made mincemeat of a star studded Haryana attack and took Delhi to a comfortable victory in Dharmashala in a Ranji Trophy tie. One who has fondly followed the rise and rise of the legend of Virat from the junior circuit to the domestic and now international scene. One who has not missed spotting the fire in his eyes when he took India to the U-19 World Cup victory, nor missed the time when he showed tremendous strength of character and courage to rescue a Ranji match for Delhi just after the sad, untimely and unfortunate demise of his father.
Comparisons are inevitable, but don’t agree with what Rameez Raja said in the post-match presentation of the Indo-Pak World Cup encounter, “you are the new Tendulkar of the Indian team,” VK handled the overwhelming statement well, first absorbing the applause, then smiling and simply saying, “Well, that’s a huge compliment.”
But no Virat, one can never be a Tendulkar and especially not you, never!! You can never be Sachin because ‘YOU’ are ‘YOU’, ‘YOU’ are the new India, ‘YOU’ are KOHLI – VIRAT KOHLI!!