The former Indian opener and KKR captain Gautam Gambhir is not at all happy with the fact that some Indian cricketers get more media limelight than the others and he has insisted that Indian media and social media need to stop “creating monsters” in the Indian dressing room.
Citing the examples of 3 cricketers in particular, Gautam Gambhir said that after India won the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup, the former Indian captain MS Dhoni got so much media limelight that he almost became a monster figure and the similar thing applies to Virat Kohli now. Kohli has also become too big because of media limelight and social media following.
Gambhir, while speaking in an exclusive interview with Indian Express, said that social media is the “fakest” thing in India, but it creates a brand because players get judged on the basis of the volume of following that they have on social media.
Gautam Gambhir said, "social media followers are the fakest thing in this country because you're judged by how many followers you have". (To Indian Express).
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) September 19, 2022
According to Gautam Gambhir, the whole cricketing discourse in India is about a few cricketers and not the whole team, when ideally it should have been about the whole team. Gambhir said when someone talks about 1983 World Cup, he talks about Kapil Dev who was the captain of the Indian team at that time and not the whole Indian squad which won the tournament. The whole hero-worshipping started from 1983 itself.
Nobody celebrated Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 5 wickets as much as Kohli’s hundred: Gautam Gambhir
Gambhir then talked about the recent Asia Cup as well and said when Virat Kohli scored his 71st hundred against Afghanistan, everyone talked about it, but in the same match, Bhuvneshwar Kumar got a five-wicket haul at an economy rate of less than 2 runs an over. Bhuvneshwar’s performance didn’t get as much limelight as it should have.
Gambhir, who is also a member of the Indian parliament at the moment, said that the culture of hero-worship should change in India, not just in cricket or in sports particularly, but in politics as well. People should talk about Indian team or India in general as a country and not about heroes.