Usually, it is for his masterful batting that has all compelled by its profound skill and unique charisma coupled with the aggressive mindset garnering respect for his leadership.
In a sense, he is very much the evolution of the new Age Indian in the likeness of the feisty Sourav Ganguly and so detached from the astutely gentlemanly demeanour of Indians from the past. A reputation that was always lauded and respected but also exploited under the auspices of kindness being treated as weakness.
Under Kohli's leadership, India has become a team to be feared not just as a formidable foe in conditions that suit but also one raising hopes of being able in any confines.
The sad part of this series as it goes into a winner take all 4th Test with the series tied 1 all is Kohli has lost the balance that has made him such a facilitator for the Indian ascent in the game. Being so intent on matching the anticipated on-field antics of the Australians as well as being an ignitor himself.
Leading to these VVS Laxman observations:
“Very disappointed to see a celebration of Kohli after Warner’s wicket,”
“He is the captain.
“Someone did a mistake, that does not mean he has to do the same,”
The right or wrong of Kohli's actions in truth is irrelevant.
With the more valid point making one question whether his seeming obsession with matching the Aussie 'pukka-pukka' has detracted from his batting with the lack of focus paid to his primary role. It has made Kohli fall for a double bluff inspired by perception where he has largely decided to 'play the man rather than playing the ball'
Leading to a series average of 9.2, a huge statistical anomaly when compared with his series averages at home recently:
51.5 versus New Zealand ( 1 century )
109.16 versus England ( 2 centuries )
121.00 versus Bangladesh (1 century )
Putting the emphasis solely on Kohli's pays scant respect to an Australian attack that has been excellent along with pitches in the series aside for the recent Ranchi road that have been divergent from the recent batting paradises in India.
But it still leaves one scratching their head as to the 'why'
Of greater concern for Indian fans is it has held up their lauded batting line up as the main reason for their failures in a series most thought they would win easily.
Not only for the lack of avalanche of runs it usually contributes facilitating the success of their bowling unit but also the lack of options it allows in team selections. Highlighted in the last game where playing 5 bowlers to get 20 wickets on a thankless pitch was dictated but the selectors obviously lacked belief in a batting line up that has struggled all series long.
Having 2 batsmen averaging over 36 along with two individuals posting centuries in the series pulls no punches.
With it depriving the team of the frontrunning aspect that is so key in Kohli's Captaincy.
Going into a winner take all 4th Test the buck largely rests with Kohli with him needing to find a way to be a factor inspiring a turnaround in India's recent batting struggles.