When the ball jammed out for the winning run, Virat Kohli slipped from the cover, head down and glam. He got out of his devotion to shake hands with the players, slowly walked towards the stumps and flicked the LED lit bail from its perch. Metaphors and literal lights went out in his last match as captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore. There is also no cup e-sala.
What will Kohli-Cam show on his last day as RCB captain? Shubman Gill finally looked away from his dark night in front of the cameras with anger, disgust, frustration, nerve-wracking celebrations, the occasional resignation-shoulder-duty calm, spitting ugly with the umpire, how he finally tried his best as a captain and talking to the teacher.
Nothing exactly happened to Kohli on Monday after a brief bright start. He removed the singles from the spinners’ coterie from the Kolkata Knight Riders and made a strategic decision to score 9 off 16 balls to give the struggling Shreekar Bharat a hit. When Kohli finally tried to beat Sunil Narine, he lost his stumps and saw his team reach the entire sub-total.
When he led the team to the field, the instruction to every fielder seemed to be to try to erode quickly by throwing the ball into the field at every possible opportunity. He also went the KKR route and seemed to unleash his spinners on a slow wicket. But instead, he never used left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed.
Ahead of the 12th over of the chase, Kohli asked AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell for a long chat. I don’t know if he accepted or rejected them, but he brought Dan Christian for a bowl. Narine hit three sixes in a row in the over that closed the game.
In the middle, there was an angry confrontation with umpire Virender Sharma, who threw the ball to the ground in frustration and then watched his teammates catch catches. He sighed, shook his head, roared in a brief ceremony, before finally shining a light from his campaign.
In the seventh over of the chase, scored by Yuzvendra Chahal, Kohli’s emotions soared and he had a confrontation with Sharma. The umpire rejected Chahal’s LBW appeal against Rahul Tripathi. When the third umpire agreed with Kohli, the scenes heated up. Kohli and Sharma chatted and Kohli angrily threw the ball down. He picked it up and continued the discussion until the new batsman arrived.
One saw the captains getting into a confrontation with the umpires earlier. Once MS Dhoni even marched from the dugout to the playing field to clash with the umpire. Sharma definitely had a bad night; Not only with that dismissal, Kohli had a couple against the team in the RCB innings. At the end of Chahal’s over, Sharma quickly went to Kohli and gestured for another tet-a-tate. At this point, Sharma spoke at length and finally, Kohli nodded crookedly. After showing the RCB at the bottom of the fair play table, Sunil Gavaskar aired to indicate that the game was no surprise later.
A person with many moods
A serene face like that of a monk also appeared. This is the fifth delivery of the 11th over. Kohli has made peace with the anxieties of recent times and is standing like a rifle shooter at a range, his arms crossed behind him, like Kohli, his head shaking. Shortly before that, the umpire called him for a ‘cold, captain’ speech, asking him to calm down. Ahmed then knocked Venkatesh Iyer down – the ball bounced into his uncertain palms. Iyer pulled his tongue out with a mischievous gesture and replayed the arc of the shot. But Kohli stood there calmly, shaking his head, ready to take a deep breath. Not inhaling the flame, but moving forward. Iyer soon perishes, being caught from the thick edge at the back. And Kohli returns to his passionate celebration, albeit a brief one. Like roar-light. A rational celebration by his standards. He immediately took a deep breath and received a monk’s visa. Until the next wicket is taken. Calm is growing amid wicket-induced storms in Kohli-Land.
The game decides to bowl Christian in the next over. Since then, a sobriety has settled in Kohli with the occasional lung clearing roar. There was also a satirical moment involving cricket-inspired minister Eon Morgan. Dinesh Karthik dropped his bat in an attempt to reach the crease at the non-striker end and may have impressed Kohli by not collecting a clean throw. As the ball bounced off Kohli’s grasp, Morgan and Karthik took the second run. Maxwell filmed a question about violating Karthik and the decision to execute the second, but Kohli remained mostly silent. Or so it seemed. Kohli was finally nervous when Karthik was caught behind but there was no luxury for the poor man to continue his celebration as long as the umpires went up to check the legality of the catch. It took several minutes to finally decide that it was a clean catch but by then the rage had also evaporated.
The crucial move comes back
Kohli finally has to make a big decision. Should he go with Christian for the final over or bring in Maxwell (both left-handed Morgan and Shakib Al Hasan batting) or bring Ahmed out of the cold. He went along with Christian and Shakib solved the game with a paddle four off the first ball. Seconds later, Kohli is released on bail.
He gathered all the opportunity to talk about his writings for the RCB as captain in the post-match ceremony. “I did my part to create a culture where young people could come here and play with freedom and confidence. This is what I did with India too. I gave my best. I do not know how the response was, but I gave 120 per cent to this franchise every time, which I do now as a player. The next three years are a great time to rebuild and rebuild with the people who take it forward. I do not seem to be playing anywhere else. Loyalty is more important to me than worldly pleasures. I will be in the RCB until the last day of playing in the IPL, ”he said before turning to chat with Gillo.