ICC World Cup: Does Anushka have a positive effect on Virat's form?
Melbourne: India's star batsman Virat Kohli's romance with Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma is no secret. But it's also a contentious issue in Indian cricketing circles because the couple are not yet married and in Indian culture, international trips together are still frowned upon.
Virat Kohli gets set to blow a kiss after completing his century in the Melbourne Test against Australia last December (PIC/Getty Images) and Anushka Sharma
However, as long as Kohli is scoring runs (by the tons) and Anushka is delivering hits (like perfect PK), not many fingers will point in their direction.
Pressure to perform
Conversely, the moment Kohli's runs dry up and Anushka bombs at the box office, their relationship will be torn into. So, ideally both the stars are literally performing with swords hanging over their heads.
There are numerous examples in the cricket world itself of relationships flourishing after a blooming romance. Ricky Ponting was among the first international cricketers to speak about the positive impact his wife Rianna had on his cricket.
In 2002, when the Ponting and law student Rianna tied the knot at Circular Quay in Sydney his father Graeme had said that Rianna would now help his son gain the maturity required to lead the Australian team.
Ponting too paid Rianna one of the biggest compliments 18 months into their marriage, when he blew her a kiss on reaching his double century in a Test against India at the Adelaide Oval.
He had accumulated as many as nine centuries, capping it with the 242 in the first innings of the second Test against Sourav Ganguly & Co in 2003.
The then Australia vice captain boasted of an average of 85 in Test cricket in the year-and-a-half since he had said 'I do', bringing him on the verge of taking over the reins of the Australian Test captaincy from the legendary Steve Waugh.
Australia's prolific opener David Warner's father Howard was also all praise for the entry of lady love Candice Falzon in his son's life.
After enjoying his lad's fantastic 124 in the second innings of the 2013 Ashes Test at the Gabba (Warner's fourth Test ton), Howard had said that Falzon had been an asset to his son.
"She's calmed him right down, he's not on this (pointing to beer indicating Warner's affinity towards drinking) anymore. He's doing everything right and even when he's not playing cricket, he's training with Candice (a former Ironwoman champion). She knows what she had to do. Dave had it in him but he got sidetracked," Howard had said.
Partner Dani and Steve Smith
Warner has added an amazing eight Test centuries in just 13 Tests since Gabba.
Case No 3, Steven Smith also recently admitted that his girlfriend Dani Willis had been his pillar of support in the post-Phillip Hughes phase and even helped him take to training for the first time after the trauma of losing a close friend.
In an interview with The Weekend Australian, Smith spoke of how she operated the bowling machine at the Sydney Cricket Ground that night.
Love all around
The correlation between this trio and Kohli is amazing. Kohli, just like Ponting, blew a kiss to his partner Anushka after slamming his third century of the Test series against the Australians at Melbourne in December.
He also gave it back to the Aussies in the aggression that David Warner is known for. Finally, he has also been handed the Test captaincy of his country at a young age (26), just like Smith (25).
Come Sunday, Kohli will once again be at the Melbourne Cricket Ground doing duty against South Africa. Let's hope for India's sake that the runs flow and the kisses blow!