Good bat, massive brat: the Kohli dilemma

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January 27, 2012 by dixwah

Fourth test, day three – Adelaide Oval: Australia (7/604 and 3/50) lead India (272) by 382 runs

I really am trying to like Virat Kholi. The 23 year-old showed his potential and flair with 44 and 75 in the lost cause at the WACA. Here in Adelaide, again coming in after his bowlers didn’t turn up and his vaunted batting partners went missing, he showed a heap of class waving the wand. The man can bat, and showed resolve in fighting against the dominant Australian side and won the day.

Kholi should really be liked by Australians. He talks the talk, fights the fight, and has now backed it up with the stick. That’s the way we like it. If it’s go hard or go home in a series over here, he’s probably the only Indian still wearing creams.

But as much as I admired Kholi’s strokeplay and steel, the hangover of another petulant, childish performance between balls leaves me failing to warm to the guy.

Kholi’s saying that’s his game, and that’s fine. You don’t have to be liked to be respected. Gavaskar, Miandad and Ranatunga are all players that stuck their nose up at bully Australia and lived to tell the tale.

Kholi’s different though. They were giving him a hard time, and he responded after his teammates left him for dead with his maiden Test hundred. You earn respect by taking the blows and fighting back. But Kholi gives it all back with his carry-on amidst the brilliance. He reminds me of a seven year-old who punches someone in the balls and then hides behind the teacher.

He dishes it out but can’t take it. Yesterday’s media conference was disappointing. Like in Sydney where an anonymous fan provoked him into a middle-fingered salute, here his bat-flailing and running to the umpire was because Ben Hilfenhaus said something inappropriate. Man up.

I don’t condone some of the sledging that goes on in cricket, but if Kholi wants to play the game he can’t then pick up his bat and ball when things don’t go his way.

If Kholi wants respect, he has two options; let his bat do the talking, or like Ramnaresh Sarwan and even some old chicken farmer from Zimbabwe, learn some better comebacks.

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