August 14, 2019 and November 23, 2019 may seem like ordinary dates to most people, but for Virat Kohli and his fans both have extraordinary significance. As it stands, these days are the last time Kohli scored an ODI and a Ton Test, respectively.
For more context, we are currently in the throes of a COVID-19 pandemic – a pandemic that was nowhere in sight at the time. MS Dhoni had still not retired from international cricket. Fans at the stadium were a constant feature and video calls were used sparingly and for relevant occasions.
Marnus Labuschagne had just taken 3rd place for the Australian team. The Babar Azam-Kohli comparison was a subplot that was fueled only by Pakistani devotees. And above all, the current Indian Test skipper was still in his splendor.
Since then, some of its shortcomings have been ruthlessly exposed. He had to fight against the demands of the president of the BCCI (Sourav Ganguly) during press conferences. He resigned his position as T20I captain, was sacked as ODI captain and also saw his influence in the locker room questioned in the cricket test.
None, however, have captured the attention of Indian fans as much as its century of drought – a drought that has lasted for over two years and has become, rather unintentionally, the dominant theme whenever India and Kohli enter. in the field. .
Virat Kohli produced an exceptional shot in Cape Town
So much so that when the Indian captain had one of his best test heats in Cape Town, many were quick to point out that he had missed a hundred tests. Others were not so thoughtful and began to criticize those around him for not supporting the skipper in his final conquest of the border.
There are also some who have gone so far as to say that it was the Indian skipper against the South Africans in Cape Town. There was some truth to it, considering how India’s illustrious Intermediate Order, comprising Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, fell apart again. But for people to say it was 1v11 was a disservice to the bowling attack, which alone kept India afloat in the series.
But again, that was nothing compared to the sheer volume of queries surrounding Kohli’s broken promise of a Test 100. In fact, if people only had one question by then. end of their lives, they would not ask when the COVID-19 pandemic would end or when world peace would be achieved. Instead, it would revolve around Kohli and when he… waited for that… would mark a century.
Now, however, after seeing his exemplary performance in Cape Town, there might actually be an answer on the horizon – one that countless people crave and that could finally quench the thirst of a country that has starved for a century. . But let’s be clear, this is not a very simple answer.
Since the media started touting Kohli’s lack of triple-digit scores, it has become an unnecessary burden on everyone involved. There’s a very small chance the Indian skipper will pay attention to such conversations, but it’s a thought that just might have crept into a corner of his mind because, well, that’s what it all is about. the world is talking.
In this process, the cricket community in India actually forgot to appreciate the good things they did in 2020 and 2021. There weren’t many, mind you. But the hits in Cape Town (January 2022) and Chennai (February 2021) arguably rank much better than some of the tons of try he scored. This, however, does not fit the narrative of the century, so it will quickly be cast aside.
The other downside of being so obsessed with a lone cricketer’s individual success – this too in a team game, is that teammates would end up feeling the pinch.
Is there a reason Washington Sundar failed centuries of testing, despite his father trying to make a big deal out of it, shouldn’t be given enough light? Weren’t Rishabh Pant and Shubman Gill’s performances at Gabba worth it because they didn’t cross the 100 point mark? And what about the bowlers, who have worn the Indian team for two years?
This whole century-old campaign has actually made it seem like there is an urgent need to read between the lines – an urgent need to understand who is not happy that Kohli does not get a ton of it and who rejoices that the drought of the Indian skipper continues. In fairness, that won’t even cross the minds of these cricketers. For those on the outside, however, it’s a lifetime’s worth of gossip.
Speaking singularly of Kohli, maybe it’s time we gave him some slack, at least on the century front. The good criticism of him lately would be that he hasn’t scored the adequate number of runs you’d expect from your team’s top hitter. The charge shouldn’t be that he hasn’t had enough triple-digit scores in the past two years. It just doesn’t make sense.
It could also be one of the main reasons why it does not pass this hurdle. India is so busy obsessed with him that everyone conspired to hurt him. Again, it seems superficial to blame the spells when Kohli continues to float outside the stump.
But it certainly adds an unnecessary layer of pressure, especially for someone of their ilk, who just doesn’t have to think about how it works on their own but also has to take into account what an individual is like sitting in a room. air conditioned room in South Delhi. thinks he should have done it to break his century of drought.
Kohli, by the way, also seems like someone who makes it his personal mission to overcome the lull he’s been going through lately. In the process, however, he might just want it a little more and he might, rather unknowingly, make himself less able to accomplish this feat – something Dale Steyn brought to light ahead of the World Championship final. test against New Zealand.
So it looks like we’ve finally cracked the code to figure out when the Indian captain will land his next international ton. It won’t happen by constantly chatting about it on social media or posting things the former Royal Challengers Bangalore captain has done in the past. This will only happen by letting Kohli and his century of drought meander to its destined conclusion. And, if history can be used as an indicator, it will stop at some point.
As a nation, it is high time that we stop obsessing over something that will inevitably be achieved by the Indian captain. India has been guilty of this over the past couple of years, make no mistake about it. So much so that we conveniently ignored the few decent things Kohli did with the bat and completely forgot what those around him did as well.
Before 2020, life was good. Not because COVID-19 wasn’t a thing and fans still flocked to sports arenas. But because an entire nation was not wasting its energy on something over which it has no control.
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Kohli knows he hasn’t had an international century and you can be sure he wants to smash that particular hoodoo. It doesn’t make sense then to keep reminding him of that, does it?