“Virat Kohli is the next big thing”, “he da man”, “India’s future captain” and a plethora of such sobriquets filled my ears when the Delhi lad piled up century after century in trying circumstances. However, the words have been diluted in their impact as we Indians like to use the same set for every cricketer who hits a purple patch of form.
Now before everyone starts with their hate messages, let’s rewind a bit. Think Sanjay Manjrekar, Vinod Kambli, Yuvraj Singh, Mohd Kaif, Robin Uthappa and a dozen more great cricketers like them who flattered time and again, but they withered away with time, albeit after raking in some money and a handful of sparkling headlines to their names.
Everyone is not Sachin Tendulkar, we have to drill this simple fact in our heads. A young gun scores a ton and we go bonkers over him, hailing him as the new ‘saviour’ of Indian cricket. When will we grow up and let the players ‘earn’ their place in our hearts by standing the test of time?
I’m sure every series throws up a new hero for an Indian cricket fan and why wouldn’t it, we get someone scoring a few tons every now and then, we win a few and then the player fades away with a mediocre or ‘just ok’ career graph.
Agreed, Virat is a class act and the youngster is all set to make his mark on the world scenario and his role in the World Cup might well be the crucial difference that India needs. It still doesn’t qualify him as the biggest thing in Indian cricket and we would do the youngster a world of good by keeping unrealistic and unnecessary accolades at bay.
It has to be agreed that even Kambli, Kaif and Manjrekar were class acts of their time, look how they fizzled in a few outings and were replaced by equally limited talents.
If we just let Virat play his game and leave it up to his mentors and his own talent to find solid footing, the task of forming a formidable Team India would be a near reality than a distant dream.