We have had an entire generation of cricketers who were aggressive just that the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble internalized their aggression. both Sachin and Virat are aggressive albeit their expressions vary. While the former would not bat an eyelid in the desert storm against a great opponent, the latter is more in the tradition of Sourav Ganguly’s in-your-face aggression.
Two of the synonyms of aggression are self-confidence and vigour and anyone who is a follower of the religion of cricket would know that the Indian captain’s veins overflow with these. As a fan I am not complaining. For being humble in victory, it is important to be victorious. Who cares about a humble loser? For ages every middle class youth in India has been taught to be polite, to avoid any expression of anger, to be generally timid. However in the world of international sports, timidity is not something one would be advised to carry in his kitbag.
In the introduction clip of Under-19 World Cup in 2008, Virat Kohli introduced himself as a right-handed middle order batsman and a right-arm “QUICK” bowler with Herschel Gibbs as his favourite cricketer. There is another gentleman by the name of Sachin Tendulkar who thought himself to be fit to become a tearaway fast bowler as he entered MRF Pace Foundation but fortunately for Indian and world cricket Dennis Lillee advised him to stick to batting. Do we see similarities in attitude here? Definitely yes, both Sachin and Virat are aggressive albeit their expressions vary. While the former would not bat an eyelid in the desert storm against a great opponent, the latter is more in the tradition of Sourav Ganguly’s in-your-face aggression. Those ‘lovely scenes’ of celebration in the Lord’s balcony were in a way storming the bastion. It sent a significant message across, “If you can do it at Kotla, we can very well better the act at Lord’s. Now anyone who believes Dada is ill-mannered can have an early dinner and take a walk for Sourav Ganguly changed the attitude of young Indians and gave them belief that they were second to none.
We have had an entire generation of cricketers who were aggressive just that the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble internalized their aggression. Matthew Hayden said, “When I look into Rahul Dravid's eyes I know that though he might not be outwardly aggressive, he is inwardly aggressive.”
To me aggression is Steve Waugh negotiating a rampaging Curtley Ambrose while being repeatedly hit on the body, aggression is Lance Armstrong zipping his body suite, nodding to a tired teammate and then taking on the mountains as only he could, aggression is Dipa Karmakar’s quiet confidence in herself to pull off a Produnova at the biggest sporting spectacle in the world, aggression is Abhinav Bindra’s quest for perfection in a sport where perfection attains a whole new meaning, aggression is Anil Kumble getting wickets for his country while bowling with a broken jaw, aggression is Boris Becker’s swagger on the hallowed lawns of Wimbledon which makes it clear to the opponent that he does not expect to lose, not on grass, aggression is the muscular fist pumping of Rafael Nadal, aggression is sweat free movement of Roger Federer, aggression is Vijender Singh dancing in the ring knocking out a hapless opponent, aggression is Usain Bolt’s sprint.
In the same vein, aggression can be defined as the relentless pursuit of excellence by sportspersons across divisions, youngsters travelling miles to practice grounds with mothers and fathers waiting on them risking a safe and simple life in lieu of achieving sporting greatness. Aggression then can also be associated with millions across the world who are not willing to give up on their dreams to pursue academics, literature, or performing arts. Being aggressive is looking the adversity in the eye and not taking a step backward. Aggression after all is not such a bad thing to have and let us just appreciate and enjoy Virat’s demonstrativeness as he scales one height after the other. George Orwell in his essay The Sporting Spirit states that serious sport is war minus the shooting. When in a war, we need a bit of anger and we need the opposition to know that we are angry. As for the language, lip reading is best left to the experts