The onus this time lies on the shoulders of Virat Kohli, and a new era definitely dawns upon in India in the form of this young man for a lot of reasons.
Coming into the international side at the age of 20, the seven years on this platform have been quite eventful for this lad where he has scaled new heights and taken everyone by surprise many a time, but the term aggressive has been something always attached to him. Critics might have bashed him for this but he says, "Eventually people can write and say what they want to, it's their freedom of expression, but when I step onto the field I give my 100 per cent every time. And I don't need to prove that to anyone else. I need to walk out to the field with a clear conscience and be satisfied with my effort today." This is the reason why a completely different brand and perspective of cricket is what is expected, because the control button initially in the hands of Captain Cool, MS Dhoni, now lies in completely contrasting hands.
|Image: The Hindu|
In just a few years on this international podium, he has grabbed many eye balls and has been heaped with praise by many greats of the game who consider him befitting for this position and now is the time for the real test. A jam packed, exuberant and passionate home crowd extremely high on expectations and the numer uno ranked side as the opposition, what better assessing conditions than these!
He had successfully captained India in Sri Lanka just a few months ago clinching a historic victory, but the challenge this time is that of the Proteas, who play a different level of cricket altogether and the recent loss in the limited overs at their hand makes the entire frame of things look all the more difficult. However, with the matches in Australia this new captain of India had already made a statement. He is the one who does not fear losing when pushing for a win and this fearlessness is the reason why a lot of Indian fans look upto him to as someone who can accomplish this mammoth task of defeating the South Africans
In terms of batsmen there might be a problem of plenty for the skipper because at many batting positions he has more than once choice. Starting with openers, he has Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan, the established pair, but with the coming in of Lokesh Rahul who too has been impressive, who will be made to miss out and when, will be watched out for. Cheteshwar Pujara who had been going through a lean patch and made a solid come back by carrying his bat through against Sri Lanka, a choice now arises between him and Rohit Sharma at number 3. All in all, the mix and match and the final combination is something which will keep one and all interest in all the encounters to come.
Talking of his personal performance graph, it has just shot upwards since he has assumed the role of a skipper and it definitely proves him as a lover of responsibility. When he had completed four test matches as a captain he already had four hundreds as a skipper to his name too. This itself speaks volumes about Virat Kohli, the batsman with the additional responsibility of captaincy who as a skipper at the u-19 level took his nation to a World Cup Victory too. His willow made a major contribution in that tournament and all Indian fans can hope for is that the pattern continues the same way like it has done till date.
Getting to captain his team for the first time on the home soil, against an opposition which can adapt to any conditions easily, and that too on his twenty seventh birthday which he says will double up the excitement, surely some exciting action awaits to be unfolded at Mohali and the entire series ahead.