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Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and Virat Kohli are most popular: India Today survey


Katrina-Kaif-SLiderFebruary 2 – Last January, Virat Kohli raised his middle finger and waved it unceremoniously at the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The gesture would spark off inane discussions about heckling Australian fans, hostile environments, and the pressures of international cricket.

It was, in reality, a simple incident of a young Indian cricketer losing control in the middle of a disastrous tour. What put a spin on the affair, however, was how Kohli reacted to his indiscretion, not in words but in deeds. In a few weeks, Kohli, then only 23, would return from Australia as a prince among paupers, and would see his stock rise with a string of centuries that went against the grain of a team oscillating between meaningless victories and significant defeats.

Now seen as a potential captain, Kohli has harnessed his unapologetic self-belief to carve out an image as a cavalier sporting icon. Today he stands out as the new bankable bad boy of Indian cricket. Almost as bankable as the other two stars of 2012, the devil-may-care Salman Khan, 47, who added a few more Rs.100-crore blockbusters to his repertoire, and the ruthlessly level-headed Katrina Kaif, 28, who exchanged the sultry garb of Sheila for the glistening skin of Chikni Chameli.
Salman, Katrina and Kohli come together in a curious Venn diagram. Two are rank outsiders, Salman has a formidable lineage. Two are brattish and outspoken, Katrina seems demure and aloof. Two are at the pinnacle of their careers, Kohli has a world of statistics to overcome.The tie that binds the three is how India sees them: Show-stoppers, paisa-vasool entertainers, and miles ahead of the competition.

-India Today