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Raina (with some blessings) vs. Kohli

by Gaurav Sethi

This wasn't a mere IPL game, there was a context to it, and I was awake to it - it struck me when the CSK chase appeared asleep. Suresh Raina seemed much older, even restrained, far more determined than his already exaggerated high standards in the IPL – it was then that it hit me, this wasn’t just two teams playing, this match had a subplot, Raina vs. Kohli.

Going by the lot on offer, one of these two (add Gambhir for good measure) must have very serious captaincy aspirations.

Is that what drove Kohli today, or for that matter, what drove him over the last year and a half? Is that what MSD was able to communicate to Raina during the World Cup knockouts? Something that lingered on, and surfaced again, today, at the sight of Kohli’s innings.

This IPL match was special, not because of the last over finish, but because of this new rivalry in Indian cricket.

Wonder what the Windies one-dayers will hold for the two – there will be no Dhoni, and the contest will be between Kohli, Raina, Rohit Sharma, and Yusuf Pathan. And as always, the new senior statesman of one day cricket, Yuvraj Singh.


Govind Raj said...

NC, Even I was struck by the same feeling.

Raina for his boyish charms looks cool and composed. Perhaps spending more time with MSD has rubbed on him.

Virat for one looks more pumped up all the time. Often unnecessarily aggressive in body language. Too intense nature can drain one quickly. He has it in him to replace Dravid in the Test Team. He should watch his steps. He might end up as the next bad boy. Too serious to retain his cool.

In the Captaincy race, Raina looks ahead because he is definitely a cooler chap. If he can overcome his 'short'comings that is. But if Ganguly could manage that, so can Raina I believe !

raj said...

Raina doesnt look like a natural leader of people. He is like a puppy dog eager to please his master. He needs a master.

Here's my reading
Ganguly = Border, who reshaped the team and set the foundation for dominance
Dhoni= Taylor, the careful genius captain, who manufactured victories with his tactics(a bit of a stretch in the case of Dhoni but WTH, I am on a meme here), but also was a bit of conservative, go-slow captain. Remember he lost the World Cup, like Dhoni losing a few T20 WCs with his conservative captaincy. Overall, a man who was not necessarily among the best players in the team, but led commandingly even when he didnt personally perform, and often enough, produced solid personal match winning performances. And in general, a gentleman compared to his successors(Taylor was)

Gambhir = Steve Waugh. Intense, attacking captain, believes in giving it to the opposition, overcame his shortcomings in technique with determination.

And here, gentlemen, is the punchline of this comment:
Virat Kohli = Ricky Ponting, the man who reformed from bad boy into captaincy material who did inherit the captaincy but presided over the disintegration of the empire thanks partially to his temparament, ego and inherent bad-boyness

crownish said...

^baap comparison^

Govind Raj said...


That is scary !

crownish said...

Raj, where would Dravid's captaincy fit in here?

Shashank said...

In Virat Kohli I see a young Ricky Ponting the agression, the attitude and even excellent batting talent.Captain cool may be the flavor of the month but a solid motivated agressive captain has proven to be very succesful be it ganguly or a kapil dev or a ponting