Wednesday, February 26, 2014

An Indian on trial in Dhaka

By John Cheeran
Man is driven by ambition. To lead India is the ultimate honour an Indian cricketer can aspire for. Equally, it is a prize that once you get hold of, reluctant to let it go. You tend to dig in your heel, even when the tide is turning against you. Such are the corridors of history that creak and let a situation turn from an opportunity to crisis.
Virat Kohli is a young man, climbing towards the mountain of greatness. He is, however, at the base camp. He is leading India’s Asia Cup campaign in Bangladesh. He is more than a stand-in captain for an injured and tired and defeated Mahendra Singh Dhoni. At 25, Kohli is mastering the art of batting and learning the politics of leadership. He is the one man that Indian cricket should bet on. For that BCCI should take a bold and an honest call to declare its intent that Kohli is the man for the future. One can argue that there is still time to decide who should lead India in England during the five-match Test series (first time since 1959) and five match ODI series in July-September. But now is the time for BCCI to show faith in Kohli.
Asia Cup is important for India, a team that is on a losing streak, and it is more important for Kohli, who has more at stake than anyone else in the current squad.
Let’s be honest. Kohli wants to lead India. And if India does not win Asia Cup–against all familiar enemies--and goes down to Pakistan in the March 2 group encounter, he will lose chances of leading India in England. All that N Srinivasan needs to cement Dhoni’s place as Indian captain is a faltering step by the rival. Kohli is on trial in Dhaka.
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