Why an injured Virat Kohli still has a role to play in the IPL
RCB skipper believes the recently concluded Dharamsala Test strengthened his resolve.
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Trust Virat Kohli to take a negative situation and turn it on its head into something positively inspirational. Arguably no player likes to be rooted to the dugout while the action pans out in the middle, least of all, Virat Kohli.
After a matchless 2016-17 season that spanned every format (including IPL 9), the former RCB captain is set to miss out on the first few weeks of season 10. While the extent of Kohli's shoulder injury is still murky, there is talk of assessing his condition mid-April to determine his readiness to play.
Kohli though, is having none of this. He has already said he is raring to go - if not in the middle as an opening batsman and captain, then definitely in the middle as the drinks' boy.
Kohli has dismissed age-old beliefs that the 12th man does not have a role to play - in fact quite the contrary. It is Kohli's belief that carrying drinks like any other is a skill one that has to be honed over time.
"Even though I have very little experience carrying drinks, I've been lucky to carry drinks only recently during the grueling last Test in Dharamsala. That experience is sure to hold me in good stead for the initial part of the IPL season. I will look to assert myself with the drinks during all the strategic time outs."
This may not be a good thing for TV viewers though who will miss out on Kohli charging his mates in the team huddle in the middle - it's a known fact that the strategic time outs are when the ad breaks kick in during the IPL.
Some advertisers are now in talks with broadcasters to shift their ads from the strategic time outs to the actual playing time. A sponsor who wished to remain anonymous stated that it was criminal to place ads when Kohli was making his presence felt.
|Kohli will be swearing from the dugout with the choicest of abuses. Photo: BCCI|
"It will work negatively for our brand, there is no way we can have a positive association if we try and fight Kohli for the limelight. It's better that we graciously accept that this is Kohli's time to shine - also it's just for a few games only."
There are also rumours that when not on the field carrying drinks, Kohli will be swearing from the dugout with the choicest of abuses. The captain takes his job as RCB cheerleader very seriously only stopping at not wearing a skirt. "Yes, you have to draw the line somewhere, and while there's nothing I won't do to inspire the boys... I won't do that."
While it's tough to say how Kohli will shape up in his new avatar, former owner, Vijay Mallya, said he was very buoyant: "As a captain of a team named after a drink, there can be no better association than carrying the drinks. It's a shame that the IPL after parties were discontinued, if I was there at the IPL, I would've pushed for an IPL party during the strategic time outs in the middle - yes, it's just a few minutes but maybe they can do RC shots or put down a pint in that time."
When asked if Mallya wanted the players to dehydrate themselves by consuming alcohol in the middle, he quickly retracted his statement, "Of course not, we're just looking for a little fun and games in the middle... and having a beer is the best form of rehydration…that's why the Aussies always have a round of beers after a tough day's play".
The IPL kicks off on April 5, with defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad taking on last year's finalists, RCB. As a build-up to the event and his new role, Kohli was spotted in the gym, doing a light routine, instead of dumbbells though, he was lifting energy drink bottles.
(However plausible this may sound, this is largely a work of fiction.)