A great man never rests until he gets the job done. Right? But shouldn’t he rest after all’s over? Oh, philosophically speaking, is the battle ever over? Is peace the eventual answer?
Perhaps not when it’s the cricket pitch and the battler is none other than Virat Kohli, one of the world’s greatest ever maestros. The fans can’t ever have enough of him. Ditto for brands and likewise for ad campaigns, social commitments, and the pantheon of former and current cricketers. Remember both remain in awe by a one of a kind, resilient batter.
The key question, prior to entering the 2021 world cup, was whether the quintessential Virat Kohli magic could work and draw bowlers to point of submission. But things have changed. The big question after India’s torrid T20 world cup campaign is whether Virat Kohli can continue to play for long for India?
Make no mistake- there is little doubt about Virat Kohli’s talent. And there’ll never be. But the question is whether the string of recent lows- whether pitfalls in batting or leadership- will render a lul in his career?
To put it simply, will Virat Kohli actually end up playing long for India. While all of us have our answers ready, soon as this particular kind of question is thrown up, things seems unclear, a bit tense and muffled.
In some ways, the way we have been loving the Tendulkar-Ganguly nostalgia, the duo that gave it back to the bowlers during its heydays, one’s sure the current era has another formidable alliance between the former coach and the current captain. That’s Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli.
It’s a stand under which some legendary moments became India’s; such as reaching the semis of the 2016 T20 world cup, the mighty fine rise of India in the Test rankings going as far as reaching the finals of the World Test Championships.
Moreover, under the Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri alliance, talents like Bumrah, Jadeja, Shami and Pandya have become a force to be reckoned with. Then there’s Pant, Samson, Kishan and Rahul Chahar.
But now that Virat Kohli’s relinquished the captaincy in T20Is and could also discontinue from Tests and ODIs, as alleged by the news, the doubts- if not serious questions- about Kohli’s longevity in the game have become ever more evident. His passion for India and batting can and will never be questioned (remember there are 20,000 plus international runs), but is there clarity about how long can be continue to play?
His former coach and someone with whom shares a fine rapport, Ravi Shastri, provided some answers.
“He deserves his due as a captain, what he has achieved is unreal,” Shastri told India Today. “What he has got used to is that there will be things written which is just there to stir the pot. A sportsman’s ability to ignore all that is what will make him play longer than he thinks. Ignorance is bliss. If he follows that and I think he is doing it, then he will not have a problem to play for another 6-7 years,” said Ravi Shastri.
But having said the above, the former world cup winning India all rounder and later, coach of the men’s cricket team, also highlighted on what might Virat Kohli have to do in order to ensure a clean, injury free and consistent run in the international game. More on this here under:
“No question about that (Kohli is an all-time great). Not many become great players in their lifetime and he became one three years ago. He is enjoying the success. If his body and mind get a break at some stage it will be very good. If he wants to take it, he should be man enough to say he doesn’t want to play for a month or two and that should be the case with anyone. The board or anyone else should not have any problem with that because it is natural,” Mr. Shastri added.