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Come back soon, Virat

by Gaurav Sethi

It’s been a while, Virat. Where are you? How are you? I will not talk numbers. You are beyond them. But why are the runs beyond you? 

More than scoring big again, I hope you can figure why you are not scoring big. You would know, Prithvi Shaw reached out to Pravin Amre over a few days and it did wonders for him. No, I will not talk numbers. But even Prithvi is back to scoring big runs again. It’s not international runs but as cricket clichés go, he can only score against teams he’s playing against. 

Over the years, you have often found answers before the questions became too big. Is this just about your batting? Or is there something more to it? Trust you will be ruthless in your quest, and not cut yourself any slack. Over the last few months, you’ve been through some overwhelming changes. So have some other cricketers, who chose to stay back in Australia. At the stage of their careers, heading back could have been it for them. Far from that, for you, Virat. You were away for a few games, and back. We’ve been there before, very early in your career, you made that same tough call that Siraj and Natrajan made down under. 

You are where you are today, because of those tough calls. 

For long, you were India’s best batsmen across formats. Through this time, there have been batsmen such as Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara who achieved the unthinkable. More recently, there’s been Rishabh Pant. 

There are roles in cricket. There’s captaincy, and then there’s leadership. Regardless of whether you remain captain or not, you will always be a leader in this Indian team. 

You know how long it’s been since MS passed the baton to you in Australia. I will not talk numbers. And when you started to captain across all formats. Captaining India is by far one of the toughest jobs in sport. Suspect there’s a shelf life to it. 

There may not be a shelf life to Virat the batsman yet. But it’s worth knowing, way before you led the team as skip, you enthralled them as a batsman. 

Come back soon, Virat. You are being missed dearly.

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