While Virat Kohli is batting for 'patriotism' in India, the Australian media is going the opposite way. They're urging the country to watch 'foreign batsmen' with a promo featuring clips of 'King Kohli' complete with vital stats. After posing the question of whether Kohli will become the first Indian captain to win a Test series in Australia, the film signs off with 'See every ball of Kohli this summer on Fox Sports'.
Australian fast bowler, Mitchell Johnson, has also targeted Kohli through social media posts.
This brings us to why the Australian network could be turning towards Kohli?
It's timely. Even without his recent efforts of 'trolling' a person on social media, Kohli has been in the news also for the right reasons -- scoring runs.
Virat Kohli, who according to ESPN and Forbes is 11th globally, in terms of endorsements, social following and a search score, has had a phenomenal year on the field. The same list also consists of cricketers like MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan among others. But what's interesting, but not surprising, is that there is no Australian cricketer on the list
Probably, that's why Fox Sports has taken the Kohli route. With Australian stars Steve Smith and David Warner currently banned and not being able to take part in the series, the Australian cricket team is devoid of 'big ticket stars'. Whether or not the Indian team capitalises on this, we'll have to wait and watch, but in terms of 'brand interest', none of the current Australian cricketers come close to the Indian captain.
There's also a big Indian contingent of fans in Australia. They are one of the fastest growing communities in Australia today. By using Kohli in their communication, Fox Sports would have surely caught the attention of this community. We'd seen Sky Sports run ads in Hindi during the India-England series earlier this year.
Whether or not brands are looking to do the same on Fox Sports isn't known to us, but there's a fat chance that it could happen.