Dial V for Victory, Vendetta and Virat

Akshobh Giridharadas
7 min readMar 13, 2022

Prophecy is foretold in many ways. The ancient Romans did trust the words of soothsayers, save for Julius Caesar of course (but let’s table this for another day). India mythologically has been spoken of as the land of plenty and a place that epitomized a sense of spirituality, mythology, theology in the birth of major religions of the non-Abrahamic faith. Those prophecies came from godmen, astrologers, yogis, your local priests and beliefs and superstitions passed down from gerontocratic elders to be codified as sanctum sanctorum in the family.

There is often said to be another religion in India, one that was born in the Anglo-Saxon world, but its largest devotees find home in India. Pandemic era frugality means I have no prizes to give out for such obvious questions. This is a sports article, so back on track (no pun intended).

Yes, the cliched adage comes to mind — cricket is a religion in India. In this there is prophecy too, where many a former upper echelon cricketer, the sport’s finest cognoscenti, do make their prognostications on who will etch their name in cricketing immortality. But more tellingly, in the shorter format, the U-19 World Cup is a good harbinger of things to come (Unmukt Chand disagrees with me, but this again for another day). In 2008, in the unlikeliest of Commonwealth countries for cricket, in Malaysia, a star was born (sorry Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, permit me the lease of this name). Virat Kohli was born in 1988 but introduced to the cricketing world with pomp and aplomb in 2008, when he became only the second Indian to win U-19 honors, exorcising the demons of 2006, when India capitulated to its arch nemesis in Pakistan in the finals.

There is much too much to write about for both the cricketer and character and not enough pages to do justice to either of those treatises. This isn’t a eulogy, a farewell note, or chronicling his legacy, because Virat Kohli hasn’t retired and yet in some strange ways it feels like he has. Kohli’s boots remain very much on, he will pad up, but yet there is a cap, or a feather in his cap that has come off.

Kohli relinquished his role as test captain shortly after falling to South Africa 2–1 in the test series. More salt to the wounds after going 1–0 up in a land where the pitch demons caused rancor to even the…

Akshobh Giridharadas

A journalist by profession. He writes about business & finance, geopolitics, sports & tech news. He is a TEDx & Toastmasters speaker. Follow him @Akshobh