Virat Kohli got everything he wanted but where is the World Cup?

first_imgVirat Kohli likes to play ruthless cricket and he wants his men to show intent all the time. And to be fair to India and Virat Kohli, they were ruthless in the shorter formats despite obvious problems.The gaping hole in the middle-order meant there the onus was always on Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. The top-3 delivered with mind-numbing consistency – in 2018, India won their first ever ODI series in South Africa before registering historic series victories in Australia and New Zealand.Not surprisingly, India were touted as favourites for the 2019 World Cup. All the build-up after the Champions Trophy final defeat to Pakistan was aimed at excelling in the World Cup. A frantic search began to fill up the crucial Nos 4 and 5.Experienced players were tried and disacarded. Ajinkya Rahane did little wrong before he was caste aside. India’s No.4 became a national debate. Who would bat in the middle-order? Just who? No one had the answers as the World Cup inched closer?What if the top-3 failed on a crucial day? Who would stand up? Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out with a fractured thumb and the onus fell on KL Rahul, who was shifted from the middle-order to walk in and open the innings. A wicketkeeper batsman, talented as he is, was flown in to bat at No.4.For 2 years, India continued to ignore their other problem. Their batsmen were clueless in overcast condtions. Dharamsala. Hamilton. Lord’s. ODIs or Tests. Indian batsmen were all at sea. High-profile series wins papered over those weaknesses and the team management seemed happy to move on.advertisementIn the World Cup, India were challenged twice. They were in trouble against South Africa chasing a modest total – had it not been for Rohit Shamra, India would have been in deep trouble.In the semi-final against New Zealand, India were once again undone by New Zealand’s pacers. At 5 for 3, it was all but over before Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni took India close but it was not enough.Virat Kohli had two opportunities to win major ICC tournaments in the early years of his captaincy. In the Champions Trophy final, he fell cheaply to Mohammad Amir and India lost. In the World Cup semi-final 2 years later, Kohli fell cheaply to Trent Boult. And India lost.As captain and India’s best batsman, Virat Kohli failed when it mattered most. But Kohli must take more blame. Under his watch, India were unable to solve the middle-order puzzle. While his captaincy was impressive in the 2019 World Cup, some of his calls over the years have been a little difficult to understand.Ravi Shastri, after he took over as coach, said Virat Kohli was the boss.Clearly, the captain had instilled certain ethics in the team. Fitness. Yo-yo tests. And yes, India won several series. But what’s the use if all those efforts do not translate into success in a World Cup.Virat Kohli was given everything he wanted. After Anil Kumble stepped down following a rift with the skipper, Kohli wanted Ravi Shastri. And he got it. Wives on tour. Kohli was granted his wish. Give the captain what he wants.In fact last year, the BCCI gave India’s cricket stars a major pay hike after negotiations with Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri had demanded better pay and their wish was granted.Here is how much the players make now:A+ Grade – Rs 7 Crore a YearVirat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit BumrahA Grade – Rs 5 Crore a YearRavichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh PantB Grade – Rs 3 Crore a YearKL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya.Players were tried and dropped and sometimes no one knew why. Everthing was overlooked.Virat Kohli even struggled in the Indian Premier League. While Rohit Sharma has 4 titles for Mumbai Indians, Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore regularly finish at the bottom. In the IPL, Kohli looks clueless in the face of opposition assault.For India, Virat Kohli is yet to win a major trophy in limited-overs cricket. While Kohli rested, Rohit led India to triumph in the Nidahas Trophy and Asia Cup.Look around those bilateral series wins in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and you realise Virat Kohli’s return on investment as captain has been rather low. Well, he had the chance to win the Champions Trophy. That did not happen. And afer that, Kohli did not pay heed to the warning bells and India were once again left with broken hearts at the end of the World Cup.advertisementAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli chokes, MS Dhoni calm under pressureAlso Read | Rohit Sharma still ahead of David Warner in list of most runs in World Cup 2019Also Read | World Cup 2019: MS Dhoni, you are an absolute legend, says Shoaib AkhtarAlso Read | India were never ahead of New Zealand in the run chase, says Sachin Tendulkarlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *