It is not unusual for India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli to get embroiled in controversies with his outspoken temperament and his penchant for plainspeak. With a media that is constantly fishing for masala copy, he, many a time, unwittingly puts his foot in his mouth or so it seems or is interpreted to be. His latest is the observation that if someone prefers foreign players to Indian ones, he should shift location to foreign shores. This stemmed from a comment a letter-writer made recently, the response to which made many cricket fans squirm.
Kohli’s reported advice to the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) that the men’s team’s main fast bowlers be rested for the Indian Premier League (IPL) so that they remain “fresh and fit” for the World Cup that would immediately follow the IPL T-20 tournament is a sound counsel. It is undeniable that the IPL, which is a tournament spanning six weeks, takes a heavy toll of the participating players in terms of fitness and stamina. This is especially so with pace bowlers who bowl their guts out in crunch situations.
While IPL gives them good exposure and helps hone their skills, they tend to feel jaded and spent out per se. Those like Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and some others who are certainties for the World Cup need to be at their best fitness levels, fresh and bubbling when they participate in the prestigious World Cup event which is held every four years and is slated in May next year.