About the authors:
Ayaz Memon, one of India’s most prolific journalists, brings with him 33 years of experience in sports writing. He started his career covering sports and went on to edit newspapers like Mid Day, Bombay Times and DNA as well as magazines like Sportsweek. Ayaz was also sports editor for the Times of India and the Independent at various stages. He is currently consulting editor with NewsX.
C. Rajshekhar Rao is a sports writer with the international news agency, The Associated Press. He has in the past written for prominent Indian newspapers like The Hindu, The Indian Express and Daily News and Analysis.
Jaico Cricketwallah Series with Ayaz Memon is a series of short and thin books (70-80 pages) chronicling the lives of successful cricketers from India. So far, 4 books have been published in the series, one each on Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh. I’m sure many more such chronicles would be in the pipeline. This book Virat Kohli : Reliable Rebel is penned by C. Rajshekhar Rao, a sports writer.
His story is like many others. Young chap with immense talent but with no interest, the coach’s eyes catches the gem from the stones and nurtures it, moulds it, eventually everything falls in place and the Indian Cricket witnesses its new star who is young, aggressive, immensely talented and fearless with a zeal to perform and an insatiable hunger for more runs.
Virat Kohli’s father was the one who wanted his children, Vikas and Virat, to do something big for the Indian team. Coach RajKumar Sharma immediately knew that Vikas had no talent and no future in the game, but the younger lad, Virat, was highly talented but he was also unabashedly aggressive. Coach Sharma knew that he had a tough task ahead of him if he wanted Virat to be something that he was destined to, but needed someone to guide him through.
So, Coach Sharma took Virat under his wing and always had an eye on him. He trained him, guided him, moulded him and even admonished him when need be. The result, is for all of us to see, in Virat Kohli, touted as the best batsman of this time and also the future captain of Indian Cricket Team.
The book chronicles his journey from the first day of 9-years old Virat at the just-started West Delhi Cricket Academy in New Delhi to his rise in ranks in the district and state-level teams. About how he had lost his father in the wee hours of the morning, yet he turned up to play the game to save Delhi from an embarrassing defeat. About his maturity, talent, dedication and mastery of strokes among many other things that landed him a place in the Under-19 team and about how his leadership skills and fearless abilities made him the Captain of the team that won the Under-19 World Cup in the year 2008.
With success comes the catastrophic misconception of being bigger than the game. His successes in his teens and a contract with RCB in the just-started IPL where he was rubbing shoulders with International Cricketers went into his head and saw him getting deviated from the game a bit. But he realized it soon and made amends.
With a few failures in the beginning of his career, lots of competition to get into the team and to retain the place, with lots of practise, patience, dedication and hard-work, he slowly became a regular in the team and with his heroics in the year 2012 – his best year so far, he has cemented his place in the team.
Yes, he is often compared with the living legend and his role model, Sachin Tendulkar but he has not let the comparisons go into his head or bog him down. He modestly says, “I feel blessed when people compare me with Sachin, but I keep myself focused on my performances and not on such comparisons. I literally worship him, so I don’t read much into these comparisons.”
All of 25, he has already bagged many records under his belt. He has a long way to go and am sure, many more records to break and create.
The aptly named Reliable Rebel is a short and quick read about the emergence of the Virat Kohli.
Published by Jaico Books.