By Boria Majumdar
It is always fascinating to track a sportsman’s evolution from good to great. From being talented to fulfilling expectations. And, evolving into a leader who prioritises giving back to the sport and create a very different legacy for himself.
Ahead of the Adelaide Test in 2012, Virat Kohli was ridden with self-doubt and had receded into a cocoon. “I had to answer the question to myself if I was good enough to play Test cricket. The world did not matter to me. It was about my selfworth. And I’m glad I was able to do what I did,” Kohli says.
“The world doesn’t know what goes on behind the scenes with an athlete. How he or she is training and trying to be best prepared. That’s what holds the key to success. Being critical is the easiest thing to do. Having played sport at the highest level, I know what it entails and that’s why I am trying to accord recognition to others who deserve our appreciation,” he adds.
Partnering Sanjiv Goenka, Chairman of the RPSG group, Kohli is trying to recognise and nurture future Indian sporting champions in an attempt to make India a multisporting nation.
“Be it business or sport, you need to create a legacy. Look beyond the immediate. That’s what Virat and I are trying to achieve together,” Goenka concurs.
PASSIONATE AND INSPIRED
“Look, with me you get what you see. There’s no hide and seek. I don’t believe in hiding things. I had never imagined 10 years back that I would be sitting here today talking to you as captain of India in all three formats of the game. But that’s the reality. And I’ll always be passionate about what I do,” states Virat when asked about his passionate self on the field.
Even while speaking, he was doing so with poise and passion. He’s a confident athlete who is at the height of his powers, playing the game with unnerving consistency and success, and it’s rubbing off on his leadership.
“When I was growing up I used to watch Sachin Tendulkar with a sense o f awe. I just wanted to touch his shoes if you know what I mean. And that’s when I used to tell myself that I wanted to do something similar for India,” says the Indian captain who is 19 centuries away from breaking Sachin’s record of 49 ODI international hundreds.
Goenka calls Kohli a role model for billions of Indians. But his real legacy isn’t scripted yet. Fourteen months, starting from December 2017, will determine how good a captain Kohli is. He has already scored four consecutive hundreds in Australia in 2014-15. But India, despite his heroics, did not win.
India has never won a series in South Africa. Never in history. And it’s the same in Australia — 70 years since first tour and no series win yet. Virat can change this record. Redeem himself and Indian cricket. “It is an opportunity,” he says in a composed and silent manner aware of the difficulties ahead but looking forward to the challenge.
“Look at Roger Federer,” his eyes light up. “19 Grand Slams and the hunger is still the same. I am just one among 15 men in a billion who represents India. It will entail working hard, giving up on things that may stand in the way of excellence. But you need to be prepared for that. Train hard with a single minded focus,” argues the self-proclaimed “monk in a civil society”.
Virat has always been one to accord the highest respect to his seniors. Be it Tendulkar or MS Dhoni, all you get from Virat is the highest show of respect. No wonder he commands equal among his teammates.
“I do what comes naturally to me. I am not one to plot things. If something appeals to me and I feel good about it I will do it. That’s me,” declares captain Kohli when asked about giving his father’s threads to Tendulkar on his retirement. He claims he can carry on for 8-10 years if he trains hard and remains passionate.
For someone who turned up for a Ranji Trophy game a day after his father’s death, it comes naturally. He has redefined the work ethic for the Indian team and who knows may well go on to redefine India’s overseas record. His real legacy. Goenka would find it difficult to get a better partner and India a better leader and captain.
Source by indiatimes..Share: