The post-match presentation yesterday was the most dejected Virat Kohli we had ever seen. Not acknowledging his personal milestone of getting the Orange Cap (the highest scorer of the tournament), Virat reminded us of Sachin’s lone battles during the prime of his career.
Remember the time when Sachin used to walk in to open the innings and we’d all be glued to our couches and wait for the Master to unleash his raw power and bulldoze the opposition? Well, the years have changed, and there’s a new man who is doing the same job for us – yes, we are talking about Virat Kohli. He has been compared to the Little Master umpteen number of times and even tipped to break most of his records in international cricket.
But we’re not going to talk about that! We are instead discussing the Sachin we don’t want Kohli to become. Virat has already won us many games single handedly, and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down for the next 5 years. Similar was the case with Sachin. The Master Blaster brought the Sharjah Storm, came back from his father’s last rites and bamboozled Kenya, was awarded champagnes which he couldn’t even drink because he was under age. He was a phenomenon.
Sachin had reached a level where people would gather in front of electronic stores to watch his innings, trains used to wait for him complete his centuries, and people used to switch their TVs off after he used to get out, knowing that India have lost the match already. Or maybe they didn’t care about India’s win. All they wanted was Sachin to score every frigging time.
Virat, on the other hand, is a wave that reminds us of Sachin with every cover drive (and the straight drive, too). He has already amassed thousands of runs, reached half of Sachin’s stats in international cricket and looks like a menace on those 22 yards. It all started with the century in the Adelaide Test in 2012. The master chaser hasn’t looked back since then. Be it for Team India or Royal Challengers Bangalore, he gives his 110 per cent (as he says himself!).
There comes a time in cricket when a player is superlative and even a little less seems like an under-achievement. Sachin of the 90s and Virat have reached the same level. The one man show from these two undermines everyone else in their teams.
While Sachin’s India had match winners like Ajay Jadeja, Mohammad Azharuddin among others who were not seen with confidence, the same is happening with Virat. His Bangalore teammates are AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum and others, who look below par in front of the Delhi giant. The sub standard performance from Bangalore in the last two matches is a concern and this is not the first time Bangalore have a team that can win the title. But if only Sachin’s India and Virat’s Bangalore could play to their potential!
Bangalore better gear up and learn to play like Virat does, or we might just get another Sachin that we don’t want!