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Don't blame Kohli for Loss When You Can't praise him for Wins

India has just lost couple of test matches in South Africa and battle ready swords are out pointed towards Virat Kohli, the captain of Indian Cricket team.

The quickness with which these swords have come out of scabbards shows that majority of indian cricket critics were waiting for an opportunity. An opportunity that Virat Kohli denied them ever since he took over captaincy in middle of the test series in Australia from his predecessor MS Dhoni.

So called experts in Indian cricket had no doubt whatsoever that Virat Kohli will fail as captain. They thought he is over aggressive, arrogant, and what not. And when he lost that first test as a captain at Adelaide while going for a chase, the critics got off to the perfect start.

Kohli press conference
Kohli handling needling comments of critics gracefully in press conference

While Kohli thought he had sawed right seeds in encouraging team to go for a win in a overseas test (a rarity in India cricket), critics called it a nonsense and arrogant move.

For the next 6 months no stone was left unturned to remind kohli that he committed a sin when he looked for a win and not draw in his first test match as a captain.

After that another test match defeat came at Galle when the match was taken away from India's grasp by Dinesh Chandimal who played a chancy knock.

Critics once again got a new high and got much confidence that the 'anti virat kohli' articles they have written in advance will now come to full use. Kohli's captaincy was termed 'over aggressive' and he was mocked for 'aggression'.

In that very test match, if one looks carefully, absence of DRS (Decision Review System) affected the match outcome. It was a low scoring game. Chandimal was caught clearly at short leg, who was strategically placed there by Kohli, at score of 6. But umpire thought otherwise and Chandimal got a reprieve  and went on to score  162 runs.

Kohli kept the same attacking field and Chandimal kept getting caught at different scores, but thanks to absence DRS, he kept continue batting. And what was actually very good fielding positioning by Virat Kohli, looked over aggressive and attacking in the end.

Sri lanka won that match, but India under Kohli came back and won the series 2-1. It was India's first away series win since 2011.

A setback for kohli's critics.

How come this arrogant captain has won without MS Dhoni and team without Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virendar Sehwag, and VVS Laxman?

This is supposed to be a transition period for India and they should only struggle with a captain leading bunch of players from T-20 era.

Virat Kohli never gave another chance to his critics after that. India never lost any series under his captaincy. In fact India equaled world record of 9 series win in a row and Virat is the captain.

Before this South Africa tour, Virat Kohli led Indian cricket team had won 20 test matches, drawn 9 and lost mere 3 test matches. The 9 series that India won is a row are also the first 9 series he actually has captained India. Hence no series loss or draws before South Africa. Only wins.

But no one praised Kohli for leading such inexperience team to so many victories. No one praised him for leading a team to number 1 test position. No one seemed to recognize that what was actually a transition period for Indian cricket was transformed into a golden period by a world class captain.

On the contrary we saw people lining up to demean India' victory under Kohli as captain. VVS Laxman on air, while during commentary, even said I give all credit to MS Dhoni for smooth transition.

This is when we all know that MS Dhoni retired in middle of Australian tour and all the experienced players were retired already. Indian cricket was going through its worst phase when it comes to results in overseas test match series. There were whitewashes everywhere.

Virat Kohli took over the team which was very inexperienced. World and cricket experts declared that It will take some 20 years for Indian cricket to stand up on its feet again. And that IPL has destroyed Indian cricket and there is no talent out there.

Similarly during India's excellent run in one day cricket matches, people were quick to take credit away from Virat Kohli and shifted credit to MS Dhoni,  completely ignoring the fact that when MS Dhoni was captain it was Virat kohli who was winning MS Dhoni more matches, by giving stellar performances at number 3, than perhaps MS Dhoni itself.

Amidst all these pressures, current Indian captain Virat Kohli not only took over the captaincy but infused new lease of life into the team that made them rule the world cricket in every format. He led the team with his personal performances too. The trait that was missing under previous captain.

Kohli laid down the strategy and put emphasis on taking 20 wickets in overseas matches. He started changing team composition and played test matches with 5 proper bowlers, which previous captains didn't dare to do. They all wanted to play safe.

So, no praise for Kohli while winning.

Now, since 2 test matches of 3 test series in South Africa are over, let's talk about blames that are being imposed upon Virat Kohli after defeats.

After defeat in centurion test, Virat kohli is being questioned for everything. Some arm chair experts are clear that he didn't choose best playing 11. Some think that it is because of his arrogance, like here.

It's almost become a fashion to insult and blame kohli for everything wrong in Indian cricket these days.

Kohli actually picked perfect 11 given the conditions at centurion. One of the contentious selection was that of Ishant over Bhuvi. We have already explained why virat kohli was 100 percent right in dropping bhuvi in that test match. Hopefully, some of the critics can read.

Such is the level of criticism that even when someone gets run out, like Cheteshwar Pujara did in both innings, it's captain that is being blamed.

Pujara's run out
critics blame kohli for Pujara's run out

Critics of Kohli think that it's the talk of playing with 'intent' that kohli does so often is what putting pressure on Pujara. Ridiculous!

Cheteshwar Pujara's poor overseas record is well known and it was Virat Kohli who actually helped him when gave Pujara pep talk during West Indies tour. Kohli told him not to worry about anything and play freely, play with intent.

It helped Pujara no end and in fact helped him scoring over 2000 runs last home season. But once again Pujara goes overseas and fails, and people are asking questions on Kohli's talk of 'intent'.

While touring overseas is a test of any cricket team, we feel it is a test of that cricket nation too which is touring. How people behave after defeat, how they respect or disrespect their captains, all makes difference.

Critics should definitely learn to appreciate Virat Kohli when he does well. Otherwise don't blame him for losses overseas.


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