A day after Virat Kohli shocked the cricketing world by announcing that he was stepping down as the Test captain for India, his wife and Bollywood actress-producer Anushka Sharma voiced her support for her husband’s decision.
Posting on Instagram, Sharma, 33, reminisced the time when Kohli was made test captain after former skipper MS Dhoni had decided to step down. “I remember the day in 2014 when you told me that you have been made the captain as MS had decided to retire from test cricket. I remember MS, you & I having a chat later that day & him joking about how quickly your beard will start turning grey. We all had a good laugh about it,” posted Sharma.
“Since that day, I’ve seen more than just your beard turning grey. I’ve seen growth. Immense growth. Around you & within you. And yes, I am very proud of your growth as the captain of the Indian National Cricket team & what achievements the team had under your leadership. But I’m more proud of the growth you achieved within you,” the actress continued.
Sharma’s note turned bittersweet as she hinted that all wasn’t right in Kohli’s decision to step down after India’s recent Test series loss against South Africa.
“In 2014 we were so young & naive. Thinking that just good intentions, positive drive & motives can take you ahead in life. They definitely do but, not without challenges. A lot of these challenges that you faced were not always on the field. But then, this is life right? It tests you in places where you least expect it to but where you need it the most,” Sharma wrote.
The ‘Pari’ actress added that she was proud of Kohli for not allowing this to come in the way of his “good intentions”, stating that he led by example and gave it his all for the love for the game “to the extent that after some losses I’ve sat next to you with tears in your eyes, while you wondered if there’s still something more you could have done.”
Sharma continued that this was an ethic that Kohli expected from everyone involved as well. “You’ve been unconventional & straightforward. Pretence is your foe & this is what makes you great in my eyes & the eyes of your admirers. Because underneath all this were your pure, unadulterated intentions always. And not everyone will be able to truly understand that,” she wrote.
Admitting that Kohli wasn’t without flaws himself, one of which has been quick tempered demeanor that has been oft written about in the media, she added: “What you did was to always stand up for doing the right thing, the harder thing, always! You held on to nothing with greed, not even this position & I know that. Because when one holds on to something so tightly they limit themselves & you, my love, are limitless. Our daughter will see the learning of these 7 years in the father that you are to her.”
Sharma’s emotional statement comes at a time when many are questioning whether all was not write between Kohli and the administration that led to his sudden decision to step down.
While many cricketing greats, from Ravi Shastri to Sachin Tendulkar, have lauded Kohli as one of India’s best skippers, with a track record to prove, many Bollywood stars have also come out in support for the former captain.
Leading tributes was actor Ranveer Singh, who recently played cricketing legend Kapil Dev in the film ‘83’, with him writing: “King will always be king (crown and heart emojis).”
Veteran actor Suniel Shetty also praised Kohli’s tenure as captain for seven years. “Aye Captain. Thank You. For the sweat. The blood. The tears of joy. For making us a relentless winning force anywhere in the world. For taking bouncers on the chin for us & making us No.1. Teary eyed but Grateful forever #GOAT @imVkohli Keep winning for India.”
Actor Vivek Anand Oberoi also lauded Kohli for his leadership. “It’s been a phenomenal journey to being the world’s #1 test team & making winning series overseas a wonderful habit, but as they say, all good things come to an end. Here’s to you Captain King Kohli, take a bow & now unleash your bat without the extra weight & flyy [sic],” posted Oberoi.
Actres Swara Bhasker added: “Virat you are a leader in the truest sense of the word.”
Arjun Rampal also chimed in to write: “Why yaar [friend]? @imVkohli you are an amazing captain and have served our nation so well. You have many many more years of cricket in you and a captains mind. I do hope this decision is short lived. Yet, one respects your decision. Thank you for all the incredible memories. #ViratKohli.”
A day earlier, Kohli put out a statement on social media announcing that he was stepping down as Test captain.