India Today's exclusive interview with Virat Kohli saw the Indian captain make some interesting points. However, there was one big problem with the entire interaction – the interviewer Boria Majumdar. Yes, he is one of the best, if not the best cricket historian in the country. But as an interviewer, he has serious issues.
On more than one occasion, rather than asking Virat Kohli a question and getting his honest response to it, Majumdar was actively provoking him to say what he wants. Virat, on his part, was admirably calm. The Indian captain showed great composure and maturity in his responses – another example of how much he has changed over the years.
But for some reason, Majumdar wanted him to not be that and kept trying to provoke an indignant response from him. To make things worse, the cricket historian sought to impose his own viewpoint on the entire interview rather than explore the thoughts of Kohli.
Majumdar, very early on in the interview, brought up the issue of Kohli's wife Anushka Sharma often getting unwanted attention. The Indian captain, in a very calm manner, expressed his unhappiness with such things, without ever becoming angry.
But the anchor wasn't satisfied. So he kept prodding him for stronger words. Then, he decided to bring up the issue of Farokh Engineer's comments. Rather than just asking Kohli for his view, Majumdar launched a rant of his own. "I mean, to say that selectors were bringing cups of tea for her (Anushka), that too for a former cricketer ... it's such rubbish."
Mr Majumdar, we were not watching this interview to know your views on the subject. This interview is about Virat and what he thinks. To launch your own diatribe and then provoke Virat to give the response you want is bordering on narcissism.
But things were going to get worse. Later, Majumdar brought up the entirely non-existent issue of the lbw decision against Virat in the World Cup semi-final. Almost nobody had a problem with the decision but Majumdar though it was controversial because the ball was shown to be just clipping the top of leg stump.
Virat himself looked completely satisfied and was disinclined to see anything wrong with umpire's decision. But Majumdar kept pushing him to feel bad about it. "99 out of 100 times, it would have been given not-out," he said and then tried to make Kohli feel wronged.
Now, one should ask the question: if the ball is hitting the top of leg-stump, why should it not be given out. LBW is leg before wicket, not leg before wicket except the edges of stump. If the ball were to actually hit the top of leg stump, would Virat have survived, or been bowled?
ODI cricket is already too batsmen-friendly and now our favourite cricket historian wants the target area for the bowlers to be reduced even more!
So, next time India Today organise an interview with Virat or some other prominent cricketer, they should have someone interested in hearing what the interviewee has to say and not getting the interviewee to say what he wants.