Early in Virat Kohli’s career, the term which was associated with him was arrogant and obnoxious (being from Delhi helped him to get that infamous tag). His arrogance was more talked about than his performance. Many of us who have grown up watching how gracefully Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid carried themselves on and off the field thought who is this arrogant prick?
Virat Kohli’s attitude was too much to handle for a generation who were taught that humbleness is greatest trait. Yes, we have seen a bit of arrogance in Ganguly but even he was no match for Kohli.
To everyone’s surprise that obnoxious behaviour which led to the downfall of many upcoming players in different sports (remember Mario Balotelli of Italy) was propelling Virat Kohli. He started to perform big with the bat with it his arrogance grew even more. He became an Australian in the Indian colours. Big on performance, big on attitude. I, me, myself kind of player. He performed well and then pissed off everyone: opponent, team-mates, and spectators. I became fan of this Kohli and I hated myself for it. How can I who loved graciousness of Sachin and Dravid can be fan of this prick.May be his performance started to get him the respect that he deserved.
There was always one thought at the back of my mind that all this graciousness is seen as timidity in this big bad world when you don’t win. Under Dhoni’s captaincy, India started to win big finals but the humbleness remained and some part of me wanted someone from Indian Team to show off a little bit that we have arrived and have no fear and that’s where Kohli fit the bill. He was still the prick. He sledged Aussies “the original sledge masters” and terrified them with it. I became fan but still didn’t love him. He was still an Aussie in the Indian colours.
Then the captaincy came to him and surprisingly things changed drastically. He reigned in his aggression and transformed it to controlled aggression. His aggression was his driving force and it led to many mistakes too but now his controlled aggression made him invincible.
Combination of that controlled aggression and performance is what i always wanted to see in Indian players because that’s what every champion player is made of. Performance was always there in many players but not the attitude that Kohli has and when, in few instances, some of the players showed aggression, the performance was not there and they looked like joker at the end of it( remember Sreesanth )
Kohli’s controlled aggression is rubbing off on other Indian players too. Kohli came and removed any shred of timidity that was haunting Indian team and started to assert. He was no more someone who was aggressive to get some attention but he does it to get performances out of himself and terrify opposition.
If Sachin Tendulkar represented aspiring India which fought for a place in this World. Kohli is symbol of a new India that is confident about itself and believes that top position is their rightful place. I hope Kohli continues like that for years to come and take Indian Cricket to the height that Aussies achieved in 90s and early 2000s or what West Indies achieved in 70s and 80s.