It was one moment of arrogance which did Virat Kohli (and apparently, team India too).
Yesterday, in the first innings of the test match, Kohli walked out to bat with a swagger, with an "I am the boss here" air about him. With a flurry of runs and an era of glory behind him. "Purple patch", as they say. "You can't bowl to me", he said in his head and played a rash drive of a wide delivery, only the second ball he had faced.
India had lost two wickets in an over and the game, the series, even the popular narrative of India's invincibility at home was turned on its head.
Just like that.
It was one moment of arrogance which did Virat Kohli.
He had it under his nose, and then he blew it big time. We are playing Australia. You give them an inch, they walk a mile and leave you light years behind. That's how they play. You don't give them that sniff so early in the series. But Kohli did.
Not that it has not happened before. I remember Sachin Tendualkar playing a similar rash shot in the first innings of the first test of the series. That was the famed 1998 home series, against the same Australia, and Sachin played a careless shot off Shane Warne and got out at 4. There was a universal outrage over that shot. It was termed as "Warne 1 : Tendulkar 0" scenario. Come second innings, Saching came out to bat and smashed 155 runs in no time. India went on to win the game. And the rest is, as they say, history.
Not all is lost yet. England had prepared a green top for India at Lords two seasons ago and India bounced them out to win the Test match, only to lose the series 3-1. If India are beaten on their own turf, in their own backyard, well, all is not lost yet. Only the series has become more interesting.
The game is great leveller. It has done this to everyone. One who flies high and scale the sky, must bite the dust and smell the soil sometime, so goes the golden rule. I hope this rule makes Virat Kohli humbler.
Dear Champion, you are because of game, game is not because of you. Learn it. Be patient. Cut down on swagger. It's nice to feel the earth once or twice, it's never nice to feel it far too often. Make sure you don't. Come out to bat in the second test a cricketer, not a star. In test cricket, only the test cricket is Star and no one else is. Just remember this. Rest is okay.