After India faced defeats in the T20 World Cup, the Indian team and especially Virat Kohli has been facing lots of criticism on social media platforms. And now, this open letter may result in a mind-changing letter to those people.
Dear Virat Kohli,
I am not sure how much you prefer listening to melodic death metal songs, but if you are aware of the ravishing and gorgeous Alissa White-Gluz, the lead vocalist of Swedish band Arch Enemy, I would like to quote a few lines from her song, ‘The Eagle Flies Alone’.
“Reject the system that dictates the norm
This world is full of lies and deceit
I have felt betrayal, cut so deep
Suffered defeat, only to rise again”
Virat, did you just see a shadow of yourself in the lyrics? I bet you did! Didn’t you? Alissa, a heartthrob among hardcore metal listeners, is a dynamite when she’s screaming her lungs out with the microphone in hand. It’s not any different when you scream on the field when your team picks up a wicket.
I remember back in 2019, Alissa, in an interview, said that “people sometimes might have the wrong impression about metal just in the sense that it’s angry, aggressive and violent”. However, she also said that “a lot of the times, it’s really sophisticated and intelligent.”
Could you see yourself here, Virat? Your ‘screams’ and ‘punching the air’ are deemed as ‘unruly’ and ‘unsophisticated’ by many around the world. But are people aware that behind those screams are your ‘passion’ ‘dedication’ and ‘blood and sweat’.
Did we do our bit to fill Team India’s void?
There was a hollow over the last fortnight. The ‘screams’ weren’t heard enough. Something was missing. Things were going horribly wrong. Our beloved Team India was in dire straits. Pakistan and New Zealand made a mockery of our ever-so-reliable batting and bowling. Virat Kohli was quiet!
Not a pretty sight! Was it?
Could you imagine India picking up two wickets in the first two games? We couldn’t as the ‘genuine fans’ know what your team is capable of, what your team has achieved over the years. Have the general public appreciated you enough for your achievements? Maybe, not so much!
But when you lose a series, they don’t leave any stone unturned in flooding social media with harsh criticisms, sometimes abuses. Maybe they say it right, social media does connect people globally and keep us updated, but somewhere it’s an illusionary world that impacts our mental well-being.
People don’t have any hiccups while badmouthing India after a loss. Did Mohammad Shami warrant the nature of brickbats he got after India lost to Pakistan? Above your own fans, it needed Mohammad Rizwan, a Pakistani – a ‘so-called arch-rival’ – to make us understand the meaning of sportsman-spirit.
While our own fans failed to show empathy, it was an ‘arch-rival’, who came out in support of our fast bowler. We loved it when you shook hands with Rizwan and Babar Azam even after India lost. While it’s been a while since sledging has taken over cricket, ‘Spirit of Cricket’ isn’t dead just yet.
Thanks for taking ‘the road less travelled’
Indian batsman and Captain Virat Kohli leaves the field
Indian batsman and Captain Virat Kohli leaves the field.
January 2015– Did you even know what you were up to that month? You started walking on embers; you decided to walk a tightrope – you took over as Team India’s full-time Test skipper from a certain MS Dhoni, who had taken India to the helm across formats over the last eight years.
Captaining a nation is a matter for pride and honour; one plays for nothing, but the national flag. Only a handful of cricketers get a chance. But did you realise that the glamour of leadership was a double-edged sword? No? Did you realise in 2017 when you started leading in all three formats?
Did you feel the fans brutally pouncing on you after India lost the 2017 Champions Trophy? For us, losing a game against a struggling Pakistan team is equivalent to apocalypse hitting the Indian team. As if there won’t be any Team India even if they beat a top-ranked England team.
The fans were busy finding the next Dhoni in you, rather than celebrating the first Virat Kohli. We were busy scorning you for not winning an ICC trophy. We were reminiscing Sourav Ganguly and Dhoni’s contribution to Indian cricket, but kept belittling you and your captaincy.
We forgot that you led India to top of the rankings in ODI and Test cricket. We remembered that you didn’t score a century since November 2019, but we forgot that you held the No.1 ODI batting ranking for 1258 days. We also forgot that under you, India was the top-ranked Test team for 42 weeks.
Something to be proud of for us? We know the answer. We as fans owe you an apology for all the criticism. We are also thankful that despite all the roadblocks, one of them being your father’s demise, you kept your chin-up, kept playing and captained the national team.
The Eagle knows how to fly
Alissa White-Gluz and Virat Kohli
Alissa White-Gluz and Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Instagram and Getty Images)
If the now 36-year-old Alissa White-Gluz chose to be a “professional baseball player”, or “an astronaut” as she revealed in the interview two years ago, the world would never have been introduced to one of the most powerful female vocalists.
In same way, if you gave up playing the sport due to the fear of thorns in the roses, we would never have known that the kid from Uttam Nagar- West Delhi could do wonders for his country; we would never have known that someone could actually challenge Sachin Tendulkar’s numbers.
In a world full of “lies and deceit”, you gave us endless joys. So many times, you have “suffered defeat, only to rise again”. You “rejected the system that dictates the norm” and moved ahead with “cut so deep“ after “betrayal” from your own fans.
The Eagle Flies Alone, So Does Virat Kohli. Get it straight, world!
-A Virat Kohli, Team India and obviously Alissa White-Gluz fan