March 2, 2012

Kohli's next challenge

He has overcome himself. Now he needs to show he can overcome his environment
  shares 106

Virat Kohli's hundred in Hobart was spectacular, but it wasn't our first sighting of him. He isn't a star newly seen in the evening sky; it isn't his first patent, nor a first novel newly discovered by a publisher. He has nine one-day hundreds, though this one would by some distance be his best, and his record at this stage is comparable to that of anyone who has played cricket - even some of the mighty names that he will probably one day sit alongside.

Kohli has been on the radar for a while, as a player, character and captain. The middle quality, like a middle name, should have been the least conspicuous. Certainly that is the way we have always looked at young players in India. If they strut, put their collar up, wear cool shades, and sport spiked or gelled hair, the eyebrows rise; it influences opinion, defines them. So it was with this brash young kid who could play. Yes, he was brash but everyone who saw him said he could play. You just needed to look at him long enough without letting everything else colour your opinion to know that he could

But it was through those glasses that I first saw him. I had seen a very young Tendulkar, and fine shy young men in Kumble, Dravid and Laxman - people who stood quietly by and spoke when they were spoken to. This kid had a swagger, but I had heard far too much about him to not ask about him. I did. I got a roll of the eyes, that raised eyebrow, and a sideways movement of the head. He was clearly next generation.

But I knew, too, that he had lost his father early, and my mind took me back to an outstanding India Schools player of my vintage who let his astonishing skill slip away with the passing of his father. It is a crucial phase, when you are not quite man and no longer child, when you think you know what you need to do but don't really. In some very articulate interviews later, Kohli spoke of that phase, of being lost and loud at the same time. He did well to get over it because deep down, he could play.

It was the getting-over phase that was to define him, because he was one of those players you kept an eye on, whose name your eyes drifted towards first in a scoresheet. He could have imploded in rage and self-pity, and he admits he scanned that horizon, but he pulled himself back, and it was in winning his battle with himself that he became a cricketer.

Now he has a World Cup medal and a Test hundred; he has opened the batting and played finisher; he is still a young man and the vice-captain of the national side. He knows they are saying that when the time comes for Dhoni…

And people say he is cool, that he brings a sense of calm to an innings. Yes, he can play to the gallery a bit, communicate to the crowd with his fingers, colour his language in many shades ("Shit happens," he said on air as he misfielded once while miked up), but he times an innings well, understands his role, plays the aggressor or the quiet partner (as he so beautifully did when Chris Gayle was annihilating opponents in last year's IPL).

He still likes the leg side, like all young Indian batsmen do. He can flick it there and also muscle it through, and inevitably his wagon wheel will be skewed in that area. But he can play the cover drive, and in an era in which batsmen increasingly give themselves room to play powerful shots on the leg side, that will become the gold standard; that and the straight drive. In the course of that astonishing innings in Hobart, the two shots that stood out were an inside-out six off Angelo Mathews and a cover drive as crisp, as any you will see, off Lasith Malinga.

Now he must battle expectations, for in India we know zero and one, white and black. He will be told he is the next superstar, he will be rated by his endorsements, somewhere the voices around him will seek to overpower the voice within him. He will be wrapped in superlatives and at times condemned with them. Like some before him have, he must find a calm amid the storm that India's cricket can be. It won't be easy. Having overcome himself, it is in overcoming his environment that the next ten years will lie. Maybe 15.

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY US_Indian on | March 5, 2012, 2:37 GMT

    With due respect to his talent and his tenacity and grit in fighting against his shortcomings and sufferings and being to a certain extent successful, which shows he has nerves of steel and giving in or giving up is not in his dictionary. But we Indians have a very bad habit of getting carried away by some good performances and start searching for superlatives and putting them on high pedestal and build high expectations and create unnecessary pressure and once they falter we are the ones to bring them down to the dust, we have these habit of going to both extremes which is very bad. To be a captain, first and foremost thing is calm head under all circumstances, not getting emotional, quick thinking etc etc which this kid lacks a lot may be he will grow up in a few years time. First he should last long enough as we have seen so many have vanished into thin air. Vinod Kambli, L.Sivaramakrishnan, s.Vishwanath, maninder singh they were all far more talented. Kaif is the best option now.

  • POSTED BY Mr_Anonymous on | March 5, 2012, 1:49 GMT

    I am still not sure what I feel about Kohli's elevation to the vice captain slot. I think making Kohli vice captain is more a reflection on the poorer performance of Sehwag and Gambhir (who were the vice captain and potential vice captain(s)) of the side. On the positive side, age is on Kohli's side. In the limited overs format (ODIs/T20s) I thought we needed a vice captain that was much younger than Dhoni (kind of like Angelo Mathews for SL). Kohli fits that bill and Sehwag and Gambhir do not. Also barring some unexpected circumstances, I expect Dhoni to continue atleast till next WC (2015) in these formats. So Kohli is a decent choice for VC. On the questionable side is his temperament and the potential that this could easily go to his head (he is only 23) and we may lose a potentially extremely exciting talent in the middle order. I hope and pray that he finds this additional responsibility invigorating and wish him the best. Let's see how things work out in a few years.

  • POSTED BY KukaSekhon on | March 5, 2012, 1:17 GMT

    Harsha should advise rest of the team BCCI. They surrendered 8 tests, 19 ODI and 1 T20 without putting up a fight. It's pathetic Indian cricket is dominated by media, bcci, ....who think money first. Personality cult is pathetic in team BCCI or India. Media and businesses shower money on flat pitch bullies. Let IPL make bouncing & pacy tracks and then we will see how many DLF maximums get hit in IPL lol

  • POSTED BY insightfulcricketer on | March 5, 2012, 0:44 GMT

    Kohli had actually shown his pedigree twice in South Africa once in a bouncy wicket when he alone was 80 or so out of 130/7 or something and he kept playing fire with fire and also against Pakistan in Champions Trophy in SA again.He scored those run in "live" match condition unlike Jadeja and some other contenders. Those knocks showed this guy has technique and guts to fight it out. What he has to avoid is to make any eye or verbal contact with opponents while batting.If you watch closely even the last game against Australia in SCG just before he got out some Australian fielder from cover said something to him to cause him to jerk and look around.Lo behold 3 dot balls and he played an airy shot and got out. It is this aspect of the game that he should not engage in while batting.He conquers that quality and he will be good for the long term.Now if only we could 3 or more batsmen of similar quality and Indian cricket can turn the page.

  • POSTED BY McGorium on | March 4, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    Kohli's attitude is reminiscent of a young/mid-career Ricky Ponting, KP, or even Yuvraj Singh. I think that Kohli surpasses Yuvi in ability. Yuvi is a poor test batsman, whereas Kohli just might be a reasonably good one. I do believe that he needs to deal with his constant rage -- and that's where the Ponting/KP comparison becomes apt. There are many who disliked or despised Ponting for his arrogance, short-temper and lack of grace, and Kohli seems to be cut from the same cloth. And while he may succeed in his career, as Ponting has, he'll never gain the universal love and respect that Tendulkar has, even though Ponting and Tendulkar were roughly on par in terms of talent. Or worse, he might end up like KP, losing his captaincy for shooting off his mouth. We in India have come to condone bad behaviour (Bajji, Ganguly, Yuvi and now Kohli) as aggression or passion, or sticking it to the man And yet the greatest icons of this decade are SRT, Dravid, Kumble. The zen masters were not wrong

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | March 4, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    Yes, Harsha: Kohli's break-out season has propelled him into the forefront of Indian cricket. The sky is the limit for this 23-year old. Or so it seems. He represents the new generation of young Desis - confident, brash, juvenile - much like the characters (Imraan, Arjun & Kabir) in the Bollywood hit "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" (You don't get Life a Second Time). Their bachelor trip to Spain is replete with adventures - sky-diving/deep-sea diving/bull runs - as well as misadventures - bar fights and romantic diversions, misunderstandings and arguments (Yes Virat: "Shit happens" explains Imraan to Arjun in one rough episode). The Kohli analogy: Coming of Age & Growing up. But the real question: Does Virat have the Staying Power? Like a Sachin or Rahul or Sourav? Remember Virat's tribute to Sachin after the 2011 WC triumph: "He has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years so its time we carried him on our shoulders"! The next challenge: Will Virat also endure the burden for long?

  • POSTED BY chsj on | March 4, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    Harsha, Good article on Virat. Actually Virat should have done as well quite some time back - namely on the tour of WI, those failures were surprising - and possibly those failures may have come because he waited too long for opportunity. I very much suspect that was the case for Yuvaraj and Badrinath too. Hope Cheteswar Pujara will escape that fate and somewhere Rayudu also gets a look-in. However I like to know your analysis on one aspect - failure of both Sachin and Dravid in Aus; and Sachin's not so great performance in England too. The 100th 100, age , IPL seem easy pickings to blame but I guess Dravid's and Sachin's stature should have eaily tackled such issues. I do believe age has not affected their batting skills yet - may have adjusted some shots here and there but the ability to face good bowling is not affected. Especially Sachin looked so good early on in the Aus tour, it looked like 2009-10 again. So what went wrong? And why Dhoni loses toss so many times?

  • POSTED BY SubsB on | March 4, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    It is too early to talk about Virat Kohli. Let him perform against Soth Africa, Australia and England at home and away tours over a period of time in different formats of the game for him to earn his stripes. Although I like the commentory and articles of Harsha Bhogle - I think as far as Indian Cricket is concerned, Virat Kohli makes a good COPY for the media. The best part of the article was the way Harsha articulated the loss of a father - "It is a crucial phase, when you are not quite man and no longer child, when you think you know what you need to do but don't really". I also lost my father at young age and I also know the way I let my talent slip away.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | March 4, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    @SACHIN GO NOW . KAIF , AMRE WERE FAILED BECAUSE THEY HAVE ONLY 1 OR 2 GOOD KNOCKS IN THEIR CAREER WHILE KOHLI HAS 6 HUNDREDS IN RUN CHASES . HE IS THE ONLY CENTURION FOR INDIA IN THE AUS TOUR . ALSO KOHLI MADE AN ODI HUNDRED IN CARDIFF ALSO , HE MADE 2 HALF CENTURIES IN SA EARLY IN 2011 .

  • POSTED BY Pedpathpres on | March 4, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    For goodness' sake , let Kohli alone. We always seem to have an exaggerated response to all our sporting heroes( Indians that is). We think that they are gods at first . Then when they have a slight stumble we cover them with opprobium. More often than not -and certainly as far as cricketers are concerned -- we overexpose them ( think of Tests/ODI/IPL/20-20s etc). It is ridiculous to expect a perpetually high standard. That said , our stars should also realise when it is time to gently fade back into the skyof a new day.

  • POSTED BY US_Indian on | March 5, 2012, 2:37 GMT

    With due respect to his talent and his tenacity and grit in fighting against his shortcomings and sufferings and being to a certain extent successful, which shows he has nerves of steel and giving in or giving up is not in his dictionary. But we Indians have a very bad habit of getting carried away by some good performances and start searching for superlatives and putting them on high pedestal and build high expectations and create unnecessary pressure and once they falter we are the ones to bring them down to the dust, we have these habit of going to both extremes which is very bad. To be a captain, first and foremost thing is calm head under all circumstances, not getting emotional, quick thinking etc etc which this kid lacks a lot may be he will grow up in a few years time. First he should last long enough as we have seen so many have vanished into thin air. Vinod Kambli, L.Sivaramakrishnan, s.Vishwanath, maninder singh they were all far more talented. Kaif is the best option now.

  • POSTED BY Mr_Anonymous on | March 5, 2012, 1:49 GMT

    I am still not sure what I feel about Kohli's elevation to the vice captain slot. I think making Kohli vice captain is more a reflection on the poorer performance of Sehwag and Gambhir (who were the vice captain and potential vice captain(s)) of the side. On the positive side, age is on Kohli's side. In the limited overs format (ODIs/T20s) I thought we needed a vice captain that was much younger than Dhoni (kind of like Angelo Mathews for SL). Kohli fits that bill and Sehwag and Gambhir do not. Also barring some unexpected circumstances, I expect Dhoni to continue atleast till next WC (2015) in these formats. So Kohli is a decent choice for VC. On the questionable side is his temperament and the potential that this could easily go to his head (he is only 23) and we may lose a potentially extremely exciting talent in the middle order. I hope and pray that he finds this additional responsibility invigorating and wish him the best. Let's see how things work out in a few years.

  • POSTED BY KukaSekhon on | March 5, 2012, 1:17 GMT

    Harsha should advise rest of the team BCCI. They surrendered 8 tests, 19 ODI and 1 T20 without putting up a fight. It's pathetic Indian cricket is dominated by media, bcci, ....who think money first. Personality cult is pathetic in team BCCI or India. Media and businesses shower money on flat pitch bullies. Let IPL make bouncing & pacy tracks and then we will see how many DLF maximums get hit in IPL lol

  • POSTED BY insightfulcricketer on | March 5, 2012, 0:44 GMT

    Kohli had actually shown his pedigree twice in South Africa once in a bouncy wicket when he alone was 80 or so out of 130/7 or something and he kept playing fire with fire and also against Pakistan in Champions Trophy in SA again.He scored those run in "live" match condition unlike Jadeja and some other contenders. Those knocks showed this guy has technique and guts to fight it out. What he has to avoid is to make any eye or verbal contact with opponents while batting.If you watch closely even the last game against Australia in SCG just before he got out some Australian fielder from cover said something to him to cause him to jerk and look around.Lo behold 3 dot balls and he played an airy shot and got out. It is this aspect of the game that he should not engage in while batting.He conquers that quality and he will be good for the long term.Now if only we could 3 or more batsmen of similar quality and Indian cricket can turn the page.

  • POSTED BY McGorium on | March 4, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    Kohli's attitude is reminiscent of a young/mid-career Ricky Ponting, KP, or even Yuvraj Singh. I think that Kohli surpasses Yuvi in ability. Yuvi is a poor test batsman, whereas Kohli just might be a reasonably good one. I do believe that he needs to deal with his constant rage -- and that's where the Ponting/KP comparison becomes apt. There are many who disliked or despised Ponting for his arrogance, short-temper and lack of grace, and Kohli seems to be cut from the same cloth. And while he may succeed in his career, as Ponting has, he'll never gain the universal love and respect that Tendulkar has, even though Ponting and Tendulkar were roughly on par in terms of talent. Or worse, he might end up like KP, losing his captaincy for shooting off his mouth. We in India have come to condone bad behaviour (Bajji, Ganguly, Yuvi and now Kohli) as aggression or passion, or sticking it to the man And yet the greatest icons of this decade are SRT, Dravid, Kumble. The zen masters were not wrong

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | March 4, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    Yes, Harsha: Kohli's break-out season has propelled him into the forefront of Indian cricket. The sky is the limit for this 23-year old. Or so it seems. He represents the new generation of young Desis - confident, brash, juvenile - much like the characters (Imraan, Arjun & Kabir) in the Bollywood hit "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" (You don't get Life a Second Time). Their bachelor trip to Spain is replete with adventures - sky-diving/deep-sea diving/bull runs - as well as misadventures - bar fights and romantic diversions, misunderstandings and arguments (Yes Virat: "Shit happens" explains Imraan to Arjun in one rough episode). The Kohli analogy: Coming of Age & Growing up. But the real question: Does Virat have the Staying Power? Like a Sachin or Rahul or Sourav? Remember Virat's tribute to Sachin after the 2011 WC triumph: "He has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years so its time we carried him on our shoulders"! The next challenge: Will Virat also endure the burden for long?

  • POSTED BY chsj on | March 4, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    Harsha, Good article on Virat. Actually Virat should have done as well quite some time back - namely on the tour of WI, those failures were surprising - and possibly those failures may have come because he waited too long for opportunity. I very much suspect that was the case for Yuvaraj and Badrinath too. Hope Cheteswar Pujara will escape that fate and somewhere Rayudu also gets a look-in. However I like to know your analysis on one aspect - failure of both Sachin and Dravid in Aus; and Sachin's not so great performance in England too. The 100th 100, age , IPL seem easy pickings to blame but I guess Dravid's and Sachin's stature should have eaily tackled such issues. I do believe age has not affected their batting skills yet - may have adjusted some shots here and there but the ability to face good bowling is not affected. Especially Sachin looked so good early on in the Aus tour, it looked like 2009-10 again. So what went wrong? And why Dhoni loses toss so many times?

  • POSTED BY SubsB on | March 4, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    It is too early to talk about Virat Kohli. Let him perform against Soth Africa, Australia and England at home and away tours over a period of time in different formats of the game for him to earn his stripes. Although I like the commentory and articles of Harsha Bhogle - I think as far as Indian Cricket is concerned, Virat Kohli makes a good COPY for the media. The best part of the article was the way Harsha articulated the loss of a father - "It is a crucial phase, when you are not quite man and no longer child, when you think you know what you need to do but don't really". I also lost my father at young age and I also know the way I let my talent slip away.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | March 4, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    @SACHIN GO NOW . KAIF , AMRE WERE FAILED BECAUSE THEY HAVE ONLY 1 OR 2 GOOD KNOCKS IN THEIR CAREER WHILE KOHLI HAS 6 HUNDREDS IN RUN CHASES . HE IS THE ONLY CENTURION FOR INDIA IN THE AUS TOUR . ALSO KOHLI MADE AN ODI HUNDRED IN CARDIFF ALSO , HE MADE 2 HALF CENTURIES IN SA EARLY IN 2011 .

  • POSTED BY Pedpathpres on | March 4, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    For goodness' sake , let Kohli alone. We always seem to have an exaggerated response to all our sporting heroes( Indians that is). We think that they are gods at first . Then when they have a slight stumble we cover them with opprobium. More often than not -and certainly as far as cricketers are concerned -- we overexpose them ( think of Tests/ODI/IPL/20-20s etc). It is ridiculous to expect a perpetually high standard. That said , our stars should also realise when it is time to gently fade back into the skyof a new day.

  • POSTED BY maxximoo on | March 3, 2012, 20:34 GMT

    Maybe you are right Harsha. But if he figures out that he doesn't need to be the 'angry Indian' then he can be great. If he can talk with his bat and smile with his mouth he will win the respect of foreign fans. Here in AUS the fans respect and even love overseas players that compete hard. SRT is loved for his temperament second only to his skill. To the new generation of Indian players i say compete hard and enjoy yourself! Never take for granted the honour of representing your country. Only 11 at a time get to do it. cheers Virat Kohli, look forward to you returning here as captain

  • POSTED BY GreenGoat on | March 3, 2012, 20:33 GMT

    i think Kohli is the next Sachin (as a huge SL sachin fan) and I dont say that cos of Hobart.. he has the shots and the natural knack for pacing an innings... attitude-wise, i would prefer sachin any day, cos Kohli omes across as arrogant.. would be wise of him to tone down his emotions a bit, guess that will happen as he matures...

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | March 3, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    Other than Virat Kohli and Yadav, I can't really see too much for India's future. They will thrive in the subcontinent, but get hammered abroad

  • POSTED BY aamir_pta on | March 3, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    Kohli is a very good find for India. He has definitely a long way to go before he starts performing in test matches though.( And especially outside subcontinenet). One dayers and t20s are more about power hitting, risk taking abilities, holding your nerves..etc.....but to become a real capable test batsman kohli has lots to learn. malinga bashing is good, very good indeed but india needs much greater efforts and commitmnent to avoid whitewashes.......

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | March 3, 2012, 16:16 GMT

    Kohli deserves all the praise because he fought his way thru' to the only spot available to the new comers in the tests. In ODI he has been a force to reckon along with Rohit Sharma in power hitting.His match winning century against SL was a superb knock under pressure which carried India to victory. However when you compare Kohli with the past greats like Gavaskar, his figures are dimmed by comparison. Gavaskar at the age 20, in his 1970 test debut year, totalled over 770 runs in 4 tests against WI, with an average of >150 & a double century to boot!.So our hero worship should be tempered by other greats in the past + present greats like Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman - all had better figures than Kohli. But Kohli brings a different generation brand of aggression & intensity. It may not typify Indian brand of the past but shows the sign of times! While in Gavaskar era a cricketer was poorly paid compared to Dhoni & Tendulkar >$ 50 Million/PA earnings. Kohli is set for a big earnings too!.

  • POSTED BY m_ilind on | March 3, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    The headline should have read: Is Virat the new Sachin? Why don't we wait a little longer before putting these guys up in the clouds?

  • POSTED BY PureTom on | March 3, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    When people ask what will happen to the Indian test team when the aging batting greats are gone Virat Kholi is the one name the stands head and shoulders above the rest. Tom - South African

  • POSTED BY jasonpete on | March 3, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    @ kingowl, I am an neutral who don't support India or srilanka,but I feel kohli is much better batsman than chandimal.Then you can't compare these two as kohli played more matches compared to chandimal and he has better average in one day matches.chandimal just played two test matches,so you can't say he is better than kohli.Anyway both srilanka and India play their matches mostly in home,which is always batsman friendly condition.when you check comparison ,the players need to play equal amount of matches not just two test matches.By looking at kohli 's runs,he is much better player than chandimal currently ,but both players have a bright future.

  • POSTED BY on | March 3, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    @Reggaecricket SL played in SA unlike the Indian youngsters.India was leading the table 10 days ago, It is not a compltet failure. @KingOwl really? Kohli has Never played BAN in tests. WI pitches were bouncy and IN PERTH Kohli was the highest scorer after Warner and In SA Kohli avg.44 more than your Chandimal on Touger pitches unlike the 300+ pitches SL played on. SL has not won on a tough pitch yet barring Gabba where Dhoni did not play, Wait till DEC when SL will be really tested in tests like India unless Aus pacers are injured.

  • POSTED BY mathewjohn2176 on | March 3, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    He is definitely growing up and learning which can be seen in his recent performances.He is one who is looking a real future for Indian cricket .@ reggae cricket, are you serious? Srilanka wickets are so dead flat wickets or in punters words ,it can be called as mud wicket.They produce so much high scoring like 800 runs and always end up with draws.Compared to srilanka,currently Indians wickets produce results more often than past.Both SLC and BCCI should learn from CA curators to have variety .@ kingowl, chandimal is playing good.But KOHLI is WAY BETTER than him.you can't compare chandimal who just played 2 test matches to kohli 8 matches.Same goes with odi,kohli played 80 matches and has more average compared to chandimal 30 one day matches.You need to compare only when chandimal played this many matches played by kohli and check the difference .By just 2 test matches you can't compare the two.Both looking promising for their country future players.

  • POSTED BY sports99 on | March 3, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    WOW... I like most of the comments here. I still remember media saying Raina will be the next Tendulkar in July 2005(Yes 7 Years ago). It's just stupid comparing the current generation players with Tendulkar. Let them be Kohli's and Raina's only. And there is nothing wrong giving vice-captaincy to Kohli. We all know even though Tendulkar is one of the best batsman ever the cricket world seen but he was not that good as a captain. Captaincy is all about having respect among the team members, motivate them, support them, need to know exactly what a player strengths and weakness and get the best out of them. I think Kohli is the right person moving forward after couple of years and remember Greame Smith is jsut 22 when he became captain of SA.

  • POSTED BY on | March 3, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    Kohli is a serious super star, and for me I rate him with SRT AND YUVI, when it comes to batting skills. He really has serious talent which must be wrapped with gud character to be the greats of the game. Lara and SRT were the greated batsmens few years back and see now what happened.... lara ended up his career 10 years back and sachin is still continueeing because of his gud attitude. So he should try to follow sachins foot prints to have a great career

  • POSTED BY on | March 3, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    Kohli definitely is a rising star in world cricket, the confirmation came from none other than the great Benaud during the end of the test series, we do not have to speculate on his class for sure, but the media and the advertising companies should not go overboard and spoil things for him, he is very young give him a couple of seasons more and then will we see a mature virat,i definitely feel he has captaincy material it should be nurtured well to reap the goodies, best of luck kiddo!!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 3, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    Kohli, the right hand middle finger batsman. I think he's getting all this attention and promotion just bcus he is outspoken and aggressive. There have been other players in the past who have contributed more. None of them got promoted to vc. Such a thing would just encourage aggression and rude bahavior. I don't like his behavior at all and just because he is batting, I turn my TV off.

  • POSTED BY on | March 3, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    Call me a cricket purist , but for me only criteria for cricket greatness is consistent performance in test cricket in tough over seas conditions.I'll judge him once he has played 50 tests becuase you get found out in tests very easily.Look at Yuvraj ( wish him a speedy recovery).Even after playing 10 years of international cricket , he fails to find a place in test team.

  • POSTED BY Reggaecricket on | March 3, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    He is an excellent payer on slow tracks, but doesn't last long when the ball is short and rising -just like Shewag. His explosive innings the other day was on a pitch that was as dead as any itch in India. The BCCI should take a leaf out of SLC's book and advice curators to leave some grass on the pitches. It's a pity that India was in Australia for as many months as they were, but Sri Lanka just flew in and made it to the finals. That should tell a story.

  • POSTED BY on | March 3, 2012, 1:12 GMT

    definitely dhoni will play for atleast four to five years.so dont worry,he will preparehimself for captaincy.its a good move as making him vice-captain.even sachin;ganguly;dravid or any other Indians doesn't performed with these much consistency in younger days.averaging nearly fifty as a top-order batsman is not an easy,also he played with good strike rate even in tough pitches ie in south africa.now he is only tested in newzealand conditions,if he pass there then he will be a real champion.

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | March 2, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    No doubt Kohli is a very good batsman. But Dinesh Chandimal is better. See the stats below. Average away in tests: Kohli 28.9 Chandimal 37.0 (mind you, Chandimal has not played Bangladesh or such other minions, unlike Kohli) Average away in ODIs: Kohli 47.54 Chandimal 52.4 If you compare their performance on tough pitches against top nations, Chandimal is WAY better; beyond comparison. Of course this does not mean that Kohli is bad. But, he has a lot to prove, beyond making a big, fast hundred on a dead track in Hobart.

  • POSTED BY SKK75 on | March 2, 2012, 21:19 GMT

    he reminds me of a youg ricky ponting...i hope he can achieve what ricky did.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 21:17 GMT

    ah ha. Harsha and his superbole ( a degree more than hyperbole). Just leave this kid to learn a bit more and contribute a bit more before you spoil him. Such superbole will inflate his head and he will be lost in the vacuum you have created in his inflated head. Please leave him alone.

  • POSTED BY ToTellUTheTruth on | March 2, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    Oh yeah!!! Here we go again!!! Wasn't there similar praise for Kaif/Yuvi/Raina (I believe even for Amre) et al before this? Feeling of Deja-vu.....all over again.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    Well played Kohli, I really really really liked the way you altered your stance against Malinga and confused him. All of them are thinking that he mis-fired.... What will they know. Kohli is definitely the next best thing that has happened for India.

  • POSTED BY nikhilpuri on | March 2, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    Some of these comments are so stupid. Kohli isn't ready for Vice-Captaincy or leadership just yet - he's got a terrible attitude. Yes, he showed signs of improvement during and after his knock in Hobart, but overall there is no place for disrespect in Cricket. Being aggressive as a Captain doesn't equate to or follow from being aggressive as a human being. Look at the other good and aggressive captains around the world - Michael Clarke, AB DeVilliers, Andrew Strauss - none of them are inherently aggressive people. Sorry to say but Kohli has a long way to go in terms of his attitude. As a player - no doubting his ability. He will become an even better player once he gets more practise overseas (perhaps a stint in county cricket?) and his ODI batting is already magnificent.

  • POSTED BY sadha1972 on | March 2, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    kohli has the talent to be a great player but needs to be thaught some manners and how to respect others and show some humility. personally he doesnt deserve the vice captaincy because his behaviour in austrailia was a disgrace.he needs to sit down with sachin and take some tips from the greatest cricketer thats ever been and the greatest human being.

  • POSTED BY SantoshGhirnikar on | March 2, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    I too worry that the media and fans will describe him as the next SRT and then grind him into the dust if he fails a few times. I pray that he is properly guided and has a sensible head on his shoulder. Unfortunately I could not watch this life defining innings of his, but watched highlights on Youtube. This kid has some serious talent; I don't think anyone has casually flicked Malinga for a six! And if he curses once in a while, what is wrong with that? He is only 23 and perhaps uses curse words to motivate himself.

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | March 2, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    Kohli is the real deal alright. Good thing is that he was given an opportunity in tests at the right time, unlike Yuvraj and others who will never be test batsmen now. But making him vice captain is a strange move after just one game. His attitude is a mirror of KP in Eng and giving Kohli the captaincy might yield similar results.

  • POSTED BY BestIdea on | March 2, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Kohli, definitely is going to face the biggest challenge of his life in the next 3-4 years. I still doubt whether he has got the enough temperament that a cool-calm-composed Dhoni has. If there is an one-over-12runs to defend kind of situation, and if the bowler doesn't bowl the first ball well (say a four conceded), I doubt whether Kohli can maintain the right body language that helps the bowler in bowling the next 5 deliveries perfectly. SMALL SMALL THINGS, BUT, THEY DO NEED ATTENTION..

  • POSTED BY Al_Bundy1 on | March 2, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    Kohli needs to be aggressive on the field, but humble off the field. Also, learn to encourage and nurture budding talent. Don't be like the SELFISH ONE and concentrate only on your individual records. Be a leader like the great IMRAN KHAN. He helped nurture future greats like Inzamam and Wasim Akram. They in turn helped Pakistan win World Cup '92. Our Dhoni tries to nurture talent, to a limited extent. He's not allowed any hand in the selection of 16 member team. So he's stuck with people like RP Singh, Suresh Raina, Jadeja, etc. Hardly future great material!!

  • POSTED BY mukesh_LOVE.cricket on | March 2, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    I like kohli's attitude , but some people here thinks being arrogant is same as aggression which is not quiet true.. kumble was a gentleman and one of the fiercest competitor.. each person has to be himself on the field without crossing the limits.. and we Indians must stop thinking that our players are always the oppressed or the victims...

  • POSTED BY mukesh_LOVE.cricket on | March 2, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    Kohli is a class act with bat and in the field , his temperament and the way he pace his innings is just brilliant , one of the BEST NEXT GEN batsman in world , he has improved with his pull shot also.. hope he goes on to do great things..

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | March 2, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    very true, amid all compliments and hype around him, Kohli has to stay hunble, can't let his head go big, should keep his head on his shoulder, and should tell himself that he has in him to be the best ODI and Test player of the world, it is up to him if he wants to rewrite record books, it is how badly he wants it, al the best Kohli.

  • POSTED BY chilled_avenger on | March 2, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    @Harmony111 I'd like to give you the reason and the reason's name is AB de Villiers! And if you compare records(As you did with Sachin and Kohli),you will find that AB has a far superior record(in Batting Average,Strike Rate etc.) than Virat! So relax and don't be hasty. And please oh please give a thought to batsmen like Sachin,Dravid,Kallis,de Villiers,Sangakkara,Cook,Clarke etc. before calling Virat the best batsman in the world today..........

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Good article....you forgot to mention he also has to deal with hatred of Western Media and in particular Aus media...for some reason they want Indian players to behave as of yester years...I'm astonished how much stink has been written in Aus media off late about Indian players.........

  • POSTED BY AbhijeetC on | March 2, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    He reminds me of young Ricky Ponting....the swagger...attitude....arrogance....confident everything....He still has flaw in technique...not the most gifted batsman like Rohit Sharma is but he still can India's future captain the same like Ponting. May god bless him for great future and for Indian cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    He obviously possesses great temprament and a cool head. He is one of the best ODI players at the moment but he has to score in tests also. If has to be alongside Sachin, Dravid, Luxman he has to score at Lords, Perth and Durban so that he is not considered just a flat track bunny. He has set high standards already has to live upto them amd guard against complacency. Best of luck to him.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    He obviously possesses great temprament and a cool head. He is one of the best ODI players at the moment but he has to score in tests also. If has to be alongside Sachin, Dravid, Luxman he has to score at Lords, Perth and Durban so that he is not considered just a flat track bunny. He has set high standards already has to live upto them amd guard against complacency. Best of luck to him.

  • POSTED BY anuradha_d on | March 2, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    Well...he knows he belongs there.

    And we know he will captain India one day and for a very long time.

    He is the Kevin Peitersen of India......and I always said that if KP was an Indian he would have had a long and succesfull captaincy stint.

    BUT his time to captain has not come yet........we need Gambhir or Sehwag...more likely the former to do a couple of years before handing over the crown to Kohli.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | March 2, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    Virat Kohli is a very talented young cricketer in the mould of Tendulkar but hasn't quite got Sachin's technique.He is a wonderful aggressive stroke player & a very determined batsman. He is a brilliant athletic fielder too. He should be treated as a Specialist batsman without the added responsibilities of Captaincy, which may weigh his game down. Captaincy needs skills such as excellent leadership qualities like Kumble's, ability to address the media like Dravid's and an even temper like that of Tendulkar. A captain should always be impartial & motivate a united team to get the best out of them.If Kohli is to be groomed for captaincy he needs to work on his anger management, develop more refined language & know how to handle media.This is like a total character change!. Among the youngsters, I see C.Pujara as the potential Captaincy candidate.He led the under 19 team very well & is a brilliant batsman as shown by his great innings vs. Aussies.A right candidate for the right job - Eh!

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    one brileant innings by koli so now all indian supporters and media loves him, hope this support will last long,,, koli is a good cricketer but he has to go such a long way to become a grate so hope indians will stay with him on his ups and downs,, and may be he will become a good cricketer,,,

  • POSTED BY TellasisPatel on | March 2, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    Virat Kohli is a rising star of Indian cricket, and I admire him very much for his skill and passion. As I remember, he was the Captain of an Indian Team of young players who also won the world cup, so please don't underestimate his experience and ability for leadership. He is ready to replace Dhoni NOW. I also like what Harsha Bogle wrote: Now he (Virat Kohli) must battle expectations, for in India we know zero and one, white and black. He will be told he is the next superstar, he will be rated by his endorsements, somewhere the voices around him will seek to overpower the voice within him. He will be wrapped in superlatives and at times condemned with them. Like some before him have, he must find a calm amid the storm that India's cricket can be. It won't be easy. Having overcome himself, it is in overcoming his environment that the next ten years will lie (HIS GREATNESS). We, cricket lovers, should push to improve that environment for cricket in India. Thank you.

  • POSTED BY I_know_cricket on | March 2, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    Kohli is definitely a captaincy material but making him vice-captain this early is, couple of years too early. He is ideal candidate to take over from Dhoni after next world cup. I hope too much of spotlight don't weigh him down. And yes, he is Team India's next generation!

  • POSTED BY JUUREL on | March 2, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    Super article from Harsha Bhogle yet again.. Amazingly fluid and articulate.

  • POSTED BY cricfan06 on | March 2, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    I disagree with Ravi Krish, there haven't been many like Kohli before, and if there have, they haven't faded away - Kohli's record, to date trumps even that of the great SRT at the same point in his career, by some way too, almost 1000 runs, 8 hundreds and 5 or 6 fifties, its clear to see, this guy is good and he has the potential to be great, maybe even the best. Harsha, I loved your article, perhaps you change all the words 'he' to 'you' and send this to Mr V. Kohli himself, I think it will be amongst the best advice he will have recieved.

  • POSTED BY RamM1981 on | March 2, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    Excellent article, Harsha. This took me back to your biography of Azhar in which you had mentioned how Sadanand Viswanath's career took a nosedive during the 1985 SL tour after his Mother had passed away...its heartening to know that Kohli has recovered from a tough childhood experience...

    just one additional thought- being "next Gen" is fine. But letting success go to your head can hurt no matter what generation you belong to...just hope Kohli understands that...

  • POSTED BY NALINWIJ on | March 2, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    There are a few players who have the talent and inner resolve and the jewish word cheutzpah which mean confidence and self believe bordering on arrogance. He does have the toughness of Dhoni and i believe that he has the steel to handle the pressure from within and outside.I have no doubt he will play for India for 15 years and will be the next captain.

  • POSTED BY Pavan_15 on | March 2, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    Well, all the people who say he is not a captiancy material as indain players are already aggressive in nature, here is the answer ...there is a difference between aggressive playeres and aggressive strategies/tactics. The former goes to a team..whereas the latter one ( aggressive tactics) comes from an aggressive captian. I'm not denying that Raina and sehwag were also in the race!! There is a difference between spporting kohli's selection as vice-captian and opposing others as vice-captain!! Both aren't the same!! I support kohli being given vice-captian ship. but that does'nt mean that i oppose or i declare sehwag or raina or any other being ineligible!! They are eligible!! But a youngster cannot remain a youngster always, he should get the responsibility to learn further !!! Rain has captianed, Sehwag has done it, Gambir has done it!! Now its the next consistent performer's chance ...Yes Its Virat Kohli's!! Good luck Kohli!! Love your attitude!! Rock it!! No stopping!! :)

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    Harsha, enough of superstars in batting! What India wants is a genuine bowler like kapil & binny. Virat kohli should be allowed to play well. this sort of glorification may hamper his growth......

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    Why Harsha not present as a commentator in CB series? .we love your commentry...

  • POSTED BY Solace1 on | March 2, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    @ Thejus Rajeev: you can see for chandimal also, then u will know that chandimal is bigger and better in terms of attitude and contribution!! Being indian u r supporting kohli

  • POSTED BY Krishna1978 on | March 2, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    Totally agree with the comments echoed by Harsha Bhogle, For me it was just not Indians elusive win i also missed Harsha and Sunny's commentary in the entire Tour of Australia. Its actually been a long time that we have seen a outside tour without them being part of it.

  • POSTED BY 270380 on | March 2, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    There we go. excellent innings. But, do you need to compare him with Sachin? This is ridiculous. Kohli has to prove himself in all conditions against all opposition. There comes a time when not in form, cricketers struggle to score runs and sometime they connect every ball they play. There is element of luck also. It is very foolish to compare him to Sachin and others. Please do not praise him too high and do not kick him when he is not in form. Just be normal.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    very well written by Harsha...missing ur commentary these days!!!

  • POSTED BY CaughtAndBowled on | March 2, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    Just give this poor lad a break. He is just 23 years and already so much hype around him. It is perfect receipe for disaster and he is just one series away from being in the top to the gutter. Please let him play cricket and enjoy it with out pressure and expectation.

  • POSTED BY er.Vaibhav on | March 2, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    @onnie_me most foolish comment in the whole tpc....if u cant be a neutral then dont comment as u care about cricket...seriously lets for argument sake i can just compare chandimal to kohli let alone call him better but WADE SERIOUSLY do you really know hotw to watch cricket....because this guy is being the best in the world in odis from last two consecutive years and this wade guy hasn't even perform in two consecutive odis...so brush up your knowledge before talking about cricket

  • POSTED BY Smithie on | March 2, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    @Bengal Tiger you will get respect from England and Australia when you earn it by winning and playing well on varying surfaces around the world. Kohli has shown a skill set that looks like he may be capable of achieving that if he can control his volatile nature. India does not have a God given right to have cricket respect- especially given some of the Pawar and Srinivasan moves over the last few years!

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    Next big things happened after Tendulkar are Dravid and Ganguly. Compare the legends with Kohli by filtering out the "performances in batsmen friendly wickets". Then you will see that Kohli is not the big thing in Indian cricket yet. And think 100 times before blaming Dhoni. He is the best wicket keeper batsman India ever had for ODI.And he made us to dance and celebrate on April 2 2011.

  • POSTED BY Slickjoe7 on | March 2, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    @Akil Jain you moron! As a South African, he was one of the few batters that had a great season in SA. Flat Track? SA? Not a chance. Similarly, in the Test Series against Aus. Flat Tracks? Are you simply "special" or can you not give credit where it is rightly deserved. Fantastic player that brings the flare of batman-ship back!!

  • POSTED BY UNIVERSAL_CRICKETER on | March 2, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    DON'T PRAISE HIM TO SKY.....& THAN PULL HIM DOWN TO DUSTS...WITH JUST A FEW PERFORMANCES....THIS IS WHAT THE INDIAN MEDIA & TV CHANNELS ARE DOING WITH THE CRICKETERS....TO FILL THEIR 24 HRS. TIME..... KOHLI HAS A GOOD BEGINNING...IS TALENTED...WITH LEADERSHIP TEMPERAMENT....BUT LET HIM PERFORM IN PEACE....MORE SO OVERSEAS...BEFORE INFLATING HIS EGO TOO MUCH LIKE YUVRAJ SINGH....

  • POSTED BY UNIVERSAL_CRICKETER on | March 2, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    DON'T PRAISE HIM TO SKY.....& THAN PULL HIM DOWN TO DUSTS...WITH JUST A FEW PERFORMANCES....THIS IS WHAT THE INDIAN MEDIA & TV CHANNELS ARE DOING WITH THE CRICKETERS....TO FILL THEIR 24 HRS. TIME..... KOHLI HAS A GOOD BEGINNING...IS TALENTED...WITH LEADERSHIP TEMPERAMENT....BUT LET HIM PERFORM MORE OVERSEAS BEFORE INFLATING HIS EGO TOO MUCH LIKE YUVRAJ SINGH....

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    Harsha what an amazing writer you are. For me you have taken over from Peter Roebuck....

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    There's still a long way to go for Kohli... there's been quite a few like this since the last decade but they just fall away.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    can only play on flat tracks like adelide,melborne

  • POSTED BY TheBengalTiger on | March 2, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    His attitude is brilliant. He's the kind of man we need to lead us in tours against countries like England and Australia, where they show no respect to India. That should be used to motivte the players, like Ganguly did, and Kohli can do the same.

  • POSTED BY jasif on | March 2, 2012, 10:01 GMT

    harsha hats off to u all the media who was behind kohli ever since he made into the team. the media helped him alot during his low days in cricket. he is not a player made in cricket ground, rather he is a player made by media. rohit sharma, much better player than kohli, suffered because he didnt have the same amount of media backing and is still waiting for his test debut :(. again congrats to u for being toooooo helpful to him

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | March 2, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    Quite simply Kohli is the best batsman in the world at the moment. He is aggressive, he scores big runs, he scores them at crucial moments, he makes huge chases easier, he finishes the job, he builds partnerships and he can adapt as per the situation. His record at the moment is better than Sachin !!! I would definitely call him the best batsman, obviously in ODIs, in the world at the moment. I can't find any proper reason against this thought.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    No doubt, many say he is the next big thing happened to Indian Cricket after Sachin. The kid could perhaps learn a thing or two from Sachin how he has conducted himself all these years despite making a debut at 16 something. As Harsha said, he will be wrapped up in superlatives and accolades as he is in the form of his life. A bad series here and there, the knives will be out. Kohli should not forget his experience after his WI tour.

  • POSTED BY czzling on | March 2, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    Hey Harsha...why aren't you in Australia?? I have nothing against sanjay, Ravi or Ian, they have their own goods and bads...i don't get emotional when sanjay says great shot. May be it's because English is not his first language.you make watching cricket a much better experience.

    There is a huge difference in channel 9 and star commentary. Lack of 'Swagger'? I guess..

  • POSTED BY Romenevans on | March 2, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    Thank God he is not like Dhoni with no emotions at all. A guy with brash, rugged attitude is what you need to be ruthless to survive in international cricket. He never seems to be satisfied with what he has achieve in such short span of time, and that is the key behind his success. He stand proudly with those 4 greats who scored fastest 3000 runs in ODIs. Never back down...never give up. Love your attitude dude, please never let that go because It is what makes you our "Kohli". Good luck bro.

  • POSTED BY Romenevans on | March 2, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    He is the future. The best thing about him is that he knows how to convert his talent into performances and the other thing i like about him is his raw attitude. It may sound a bit brash and swaggy, but you need that sort of attitude to keep kicking yourself to perform better and be the best. He has that, and he is the one for the future. Rock on Kohli, A Big Fan Here!

  • POSTED BY LakshmanSatish on | March 2, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    This is an excellent piece Harsha,.... I just love reading your articles, which are simply straight & neutral... I have never seen you briefing things in an exaggerated way... here you have detailed both strength & weakness of Kohli... can see your appreciation for his talent & at the same time warning him of the challenges ahead... Hope this helps him build his Character.... Once again thanks for the wonderful piece "KOHLI'S NEXT CHALLENGE"... Hope Kohli is reading....

  • POSTED BY datewithdestiny on | March 2, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    For all those saying Kohli is better than Sachin was at 23.. its only partially true... In ODIs absolutely... Kohli way better... But in Tests, Tendulkar had achieved a lot by the time he was 23. So for me from a talent perspective, tendulkar had achieved more at 23.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    @onnie_me... even before this knock, kohli was considered to be the next captain.... those who follows cricket will know that... its not a "single exhuberant knock"... there are many...1) http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/430889.html ..2) http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/434260.html ..3) http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/452147.html 4) http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/464529.html 5) http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/463150.html 6)http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/463153.html 7)http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/489225.html 8) http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/521219.html

  • POSTED BY Jha_anand on | March 2, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    At this stage of his career, no doubt he has shown the signs of being the next in chain of Indian legends like tendulkar, ganguli and others. Its great to watch him grow for couple of more years by the time he establishes as a natural anchor of team India. Well done young brigade!

  • POSTED BY Bhaskar2312 on | March 2, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    The article is just as beautiful and relevant as Kohli's batting. As much as we all praise his talent we should also credit the changing outlook of the Indian selectors and cricket administrators. 10 or 15 years back a player with such attitude would have been perceived as arrogant / non confirmist / indisciplined etc and sidelined to anonymity (Maybe Vinod Kambli was the Virat Kohli of 15 years back). Kohli's timing is just as perfect with the changing times as is his batting. Kohli and more importantly the Indian media would do well to realise that life is a sinusoidal wave and his glorious form will wane at some stage. Hope we show some patience then and nurture this wonderful talent rather than grab the opportunity to crucify him.

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | March 2, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    More than anything, Kohli is being noticed because he can speak English. He is a super player no doubt, but captaincy material, I very much doubt. This generation of Indian cricketers already has aggression, so no captain needs to bring in more of that. So, what else does Kohli bring in? What is his special value to captaincy? The article is woefully short of this question, but it can get by at this point in time.

    While wishing the best for Kohli, one cannot see how conveniently we ignore young Suresh Raina, who has captained with some success, handles himself magnificently on and off the field, or Ashwin, who is a very calm head over immensely mature shoulders, and articulate as well. The next generation captain needs one thing more than the rest of his team - calm. Kohli is woefully short on this front. And let's not focus only on the kids who can speak English with some elan.

  • POSTED BY srivatsacertain on | March 2, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    Excellent piece of writing this Harsha! From a neutral point of view, crediting him for his positives and warning him for his negatives. Read this Mr Kohli!

  • POSTED BY Purana_Pirate on | March 2, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    The thing with Virat - he puts it all out there. What you see is what you get.

    I think this "character" attribute is being taken too far... are cricketers expected to be the next Mother Teresa or what.

  • POSTED BY RohithMedisetty on | March 2, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    @balaji bajji . His father died in the morning but he still went to play for his ranji team and scored 90 odd runs .

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    Harsha, there is no question that Kohli embodies the attributes necessary to serve the country very well, and it is a foregone conclusion that he will adorn the armband at some point in the imminent future. However, while he deserves lavish praise, he is merely the silver lining on an increasingly ominous black cloud. In the years I have been reading about cricket, we have never consciously chosen to emphasize the group over the individual. In my humble opinion, it is a systemic, endemic fault that pervades every section of our society. This attitude results in the excessive lionization of a select few "stars," who, after achieving such status, bestow upon themselves an aura of invincibility. This invincibilty, though effective on the field of play, creates an administrative Gordian knot that is impossible to unravel; the failure to make sweeping changes to our cricketing system is proof of that. We need to address our obsequious tendencies in order to achieve true sporting greatness.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    I remember your interview with Sachin which was aired on his 30th birthday. You finished the interview saying we'll meet Sachin again when he turns 40 "and maybe still playing". That prediction is seriously close to becoming true. Hope this "maybe 15" prediction comes true as well.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    quite right. we have seen him jumping and punching in air and getting angry. but he is not wild like sreesanth. deep inside he is a very intelligent thinking cricketer. the way he plans his innings specially during run chases shows that. he wont play a silly shot if provoked but can slam a hundred in reply. thats for sure.

  • POSTED BY Return-of-Sinhaya on | March 2, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    @Indians: kohli s good,but just a single exuberant knock has made him the Vice captain of indian team. This shows the crisis indian team faces.I seriously consider chandimal ,wade of australia better equipped than Mr.kohli.May be he s the next big thing in INDIANCRICKET and not CRICKET as a whole.

  • POSTED BY Solace1 on | March 2, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    @satheesh kumar: Its so funny that you compare him to ganguly!! This kid is way superior than ganguly!! And one day his captaincy record will also be better than ganguly, he has achieved 10times more than what ganguly or sachin achieved at an age of 23!!

  • POSTED BY kiranlegend on | March 2, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    I hope that he stops playing IPL.. for that matter.. Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir, Dhoni and all the fast bowlers should stop playing IPL. Take that well deserved rest. Heal themselves. Btw.. Harsha, nicely put "He has overcome himself. Now he needs to show he can overcome his environment." Sport is about overcoming oneself, isn't it? then why people like you, mr. gavaskars, mr. greg chappel are in haste when it comes to talking about either dropping or retirement of Sachin? Well this series is not over yet.. and yes he failed in 5 innings in ODIs.. Do you drop a guy if he fails in 5 innings? If that happened consistently in the past, we wouldn't have seen a Sehwag, a Yuvraj, a Gambhir etc., for this long. Age is merely a number. Age shouldn't be a reason to show disparity towards someone who has been more consistent than anybody in world cricket for close to 22 years. Time to see things from the spirit of sports. As per this article, yes.. Kohli looks good. But still long way to go!

  • POSTED BY murthydn16 on | March 2, 2012, 5:22 GMT

    Of all the youngsters in the team, he is the only one who is contributing, unlike the rohit's, raina's, etc who so far have promised but have failed to deliver. Kohli has got a sensible head on his shoulders. He talks sense. He should stay away from the media glare and should handle the fame and money as was done by legends Kumble, Dravid and Sachin. Having played alongside them, he should have imbibed these characters and should be imbibing more. Its a joy to watch him play and hope he plays for many more years and contribute to many more wins. Rohit's and Raina's should learn from him how to score runs with a level head. Hope one day Pujara can come in and contribute as Kohli is doing.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    Harsha, amazing piece of writing and very well said.. I completely agree but would like to add something here. Like he now needs to battle expectations, he also needs to maintain his focus and not lose it like many have done in past. We have had many promising players in past who started well and then just lost it.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    I think he is overrated in tests.But he is great in odis

  • POSTED BY shailbuch on | March 2, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    And he's got Presence of Mind!! A question asked to him, minutes after winning a world cup at home. How do you feel after carrying Tendulkar around on your shoulder? He smiled and said, He carried the burdens of the Nation for 21years, so its time we carry him... You should still see the expressions of a stunned Harbhajan standing next to him! What a fitting reply in seconds at a time when most people struggle to breathe normally as well.. But, Harsha Bhogle... Its time someone writes about you.. You are one of a kind.. You are on your way to becoming a legend in a league of your own... Thanks for the piece and congratulations Virat, proud of you...

  • POSTED BY sarveshgolechha on | March 2, 2012, 4:49 GMT

    Experts complaining about its too early to make him the Vice Captain...but what I feel it is indeed the right time...and agree wit you Harsha totally....you are the best commentator and sports writer ... always wait for you articles and your views on India's tour were just fantastic... take care cheers sarvesh golechha

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    Good article sir,virat is far ahead then other indian junior or senior batsmen at the moment.good luck to him

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    He lost his Dad..??:'( If He can play for years that sachin has played, Kohli can get past God.:)

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    As a cricketer he knows how to develop the talents, but when there is a chance, he will be captaining a side he should know to control his emotions and be cool. if he develops that too he will become another legend captain batsman!

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | March 2, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    Virat Kohli is a fine batsman and from all accounts definitely ' Next Generation' I am not very sure if that is something we should really be in awe of. The selectors too, amongst others have tipped him for Captaincy. He has the U 19 World Cup win as captain in his CV. He is mighty talented no doubt. Possibly like Kevin Pietersen, his mate in Royal Challengers. I only hope that Virat, when he becomes the Captain does'nt go the Kevin way.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    excellently put Harsha! Some are calling him the next SACHIN. I would rather compare him to Ganguly. This guy is quite a character.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 3:34 GMT

    well written Harsha. point taken.

  • POSTED BY tntn on | March 2, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    Mr. Bhogle is very quick to compliment and conclude . Going by some of his comments on TV and electronic media during downtrends of a few players, he will immediately critique and write off. Let us readers get a balanced view. All the expectations around players and teams are set by the hype that media creates. Most of us spectators are expecting the team to perform collectively - not always as individuals.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY tntn on | March 2, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    Mr. Bhogle is very quick to compliment and conclude . Going by some of his comments on TV and electronic media during downtrends of a few players, he will immediately critique and write off. Let us readers get a balanced view. All the expectations around players and teams are set by the hype that media creates. Most of us spectators are expecting the team to perform collectively - not always as individuals.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 3:34 GMT

    well written Harsha. point taken.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    excellently put Harsha! Some are calling him the next SACHIN. I would rather compare him to Ganguly. This guy is quite a character.

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | March 2, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    Virat Kohli is a fine batsman and from all accounts definitely ' Next Generation' I am not very sure if that is something we should really be in awe of. The selectors too, amongst others have tipped him for Captaincy. He has the U 19 World Cup win as captain in his CV. He is mighty talented no doubt. Possibly like Kevin Pietersen, his mate in Royal Challengers. I only hope that Virat, when he becomes the Captain does'nt go the Kevin way.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    As a cricketer he knows how to develop the talents, but when there is a chance, he will be captaining a side he should know to control his emotions and be cool. if he develops that too he will become another legend captain batsman!

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    He lost his Dad..??:'( If He can play for years that sachin has played, Kohli can get past God.:)

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    Good article sir,virat is far ahead then other indian junior or senior batsmen at the moment.good luck to him

  • POSTED BY sarveshgolechha on | March 2, 2012, 4:49 GMT

    Experts complaining about its too early to make him the Vice Captain...but what I feel it is indeed the right time...and agree wit you Harsha totally....you are the best commentator and sports writer ... always wait for you articles and your views on India's tour were just fantastic... take care cheers sarvesh golechha

  • POSTED BY shailbuch on | March 2, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    And he's got Presence of Mind!! A question asked to him, minutes after winning a world cup at home. How do you feel after carrying Tendulkar around on your shoulder? He smiled and said, He carried the burdens of the Nation for 21years, so its time we carry him... You should still see the expressions of a stunned Harbhajan standing next to him! What a fitting reply in seconds at a time when most people struggle to breathe normally as well.. But, Harsha Bhogle... Its time someone writes about you.. You are one of a kind.. You are on your way to becoming a legend in a league of your own... Thanks for the piece and congratulations Virat, proud of you...

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    I think he is overrated in tests.But he is great in odis