Kohli’s reckless generosity

Ravi Shanker Kapoor |

Excess of everything is bad, even that of a virtue like sportsmanship. Indian skipper Virat Kohli ought to realize this. In the match against Pakistan yesterday, he walked off despite the umpire having not declared him out. The fact that he and his team played so well that their arch-rivals lost the game does not mean that excessive generosity on his part should be either ignore or condoned. It could have cost India dear had the Pakistani team been a little better.

We should not cheat, we should play with sportsman’s spirit; we must let this spirit animate every game, its players and lovers. For it is this spirit that, among other things, binds the entire humanity together. Those who do that are universally admired. When Kohli (77 off 65 balls) beseeched the crowds not to heckle Steve Smith, it was true sportsmanship; he was duly lauded for his initiative. But walking out when not out and when the umpire doesn’t say so is something downright irresponsible, especially for a captain.

Kohli thought that his bat had nicked a Mohammad Amir bouncer, and walked off.

It looked like the Indian skipper’s bat’s handle was loose, and it caused some noise that was mistaken by him for a snick. Later, Kohli and M.S. Dhoni were shown in the direct telecast testing if the bat handle was loose.

Kohli’s faux pas, however, didn’t affect the match’s result, India reached 336 for the loss of five wickets. Pakistan never looked like winning it—not when India were batting, not when their second wicket partnership crossed the century mark. At best, it appeared that they were in the game when the second wicket partnership was on.

However, had Kohli had indulged in reckless generosity in the early part of his own innings, when he was in, say, the twenties, the match might have followed a different trajectory. It is time he learned from his mistake.

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