It is bad enough that India have got off to a humiliating start. Although the totals have been in excess of 300 runs, India have found themselves upended up by the blistering attack from the hosts. In the midst of a raging captaincy debate, comments from one aspiring captain leave much to be desired.
Call it the bane of social media. It has made trivial of issues that should not have been frivolous, to begin with. It has made unnecessary mountains of out of molehills. Symptomatic of the times, KL Rahul’s albeit comment in jest about David Warner’s injury has only highlighted the issue that people in glass houses should not throw stones at others.
On the face of it, it might seem more like a case of making something out of nothing and it very well could have been had it perhaps been any other cricketer. Rahul was asked his opinion on Warner’s injury sustained in the course of the second one day international and in what is a common but poor joke amongst players, stated he hoped Warner’s injury was deep enough to keep him off the field.
That comment has been seen as an affront to the notion of Indian hospitality, even if India are the tourists on this occasion. Furthermore, Rahul might have been stretching the commentators’ theory that ‘this tour is too friendly’ by poking fun in an unexpected area. Maybe the tour has been too casual with the growing bonhomie between players which allowed Rahul to take the liberty to speak as he did.
But Rahul’s comment was not in bad taste though the joke was.
It has to be pointed out that Rahul might not have meant harm to Warner per se. But he caused plenty of harm to himself by a sensitive cricket crowd who see the statement from a possible Indian captain as being in poor taste.
The thing to be remembered is that India are in an unenviable position, two matches into the tour. Steve Smith and company have strongly established themselves and Aaron Finch already has added a feather to his cap. In that light, Rahul’s joke might have been understandable, though not to the cricket fans who expect better of their role models, particularly when the results have been both, bleak and ominous.
India haven’t had much to cheer about thus far. Even if their batting totals have not been abysmal, in comparison to Australia’s onslaught in the first two one day internationals, it has been poor pickings for the Indian cricket team, with the topic of all-rounders and sixth bowlers doing the rounds.
While Virat Kohli is fighting a trial by media with regard to his captaincy, with absentee Rohit Sharma being considered the panacea to all problems Indian cricket, one of the players that the Indian selection panel might consider as captain material outside of the Virat v Rohit battle – and it was a soaring subject in the course of the IPL 2020 in the UAE – happens to be KL Rahul.
Speaking from that position, perhaps Rahul could have been more prudent choosing his jokes wisely. While no harm was done, the explosion on social media suggests that cricketers must remember they have stature and responsibility that goes with it. Speaking ill even in jest of an esteemed player of the opposing team can lose you fans, as Rahul had undoubtedly found out. This is only a sideshow. It is time for India to go back to the drawing board.