The batsman Virat Kohli is second to none. Be it Tests or ODIs or T20s – he guarantees you runs with pure class and entertainment simultaneously. His fitness is outstanding and when it comes to batting – people often run short of superlatives.
He has dominated every bowler in the world on the most difficult of pitches and his appetite for runs is unmatched. But can we say the same things about Virat Kohli the captain?
Aggression can be a funny thing. It can be an asset if used properly or it can be your biggest negative if it is not directed at the right target. The day Mahendra Singh Dhoni stepped down as captain – Kohli was the obvious choice to succeed him but the recent past has made it obvious that he still has a long way to go.
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Most of his aggression on the field is over the top and by no means shows passion. It has nothing do with hurling abuses or showing dissent on the field but his on field actions are way too much. Virat needs to show aggression as that’s what defines him but in a controlled manner. He should learn a thing or two from Dhoni on how to dominate in the field.
Be it Australia’s Steve Smith, Bangladesh’s Rubel Hossain, his own countryman Gautam Gambhir or journalists, Kohli’s ‘Virat’ appetite for confrontation had become a by-word in the cricket world. And it does not end here.
According to reports he has already fallen out with coach Anil Kumble and it could also be one of the reasons that the Indian team failed to fully concentrate on the pitch against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final. While question marks are being raised over Kumble’s future as India’s coach, Kohli’s on-field antics too have shown the Indian skipper in poor light on numerous occasions.
When it comes to coach-captain conflicts in India, it will always be the skipper who comes out trumps. In this case as well – Kohli clearly enjoys more support from the BCCI. He’s the glamorous poster boy of Indian cricket! Kumble is unlikely to get any support here and the public announcement for the search for a new coach was the most clear indication of where the power centre in Indian cricket lies.
He has a brilliant record as a Test skipper but one should not forget that most of Team India’s win under Kohli have as come on Indian pitches which are tailor-made in favour of Indian spinners.
India were clear favourites to win the Champions Trophy but choked at the final hurdle. Despite reaching the final, India cannot be said to have had had a great tournament – they lost to Sri Lanka in group stages and were mauled in the final against arch-rivals Pakistan.
The biggest let down in Kohli’s captaincy in the final was the decision he made after winning the toss. If it was Dhoni – he by no means would have opted to bowl first in such a high pressure game and that too, on a flat track. Once the Pakistani batsmen got their eyes in – there was no Plan B. Kohli looked clueless in the middle and was often seeing discussing strategies with Dhoni.
There is no doubt that Kohli is the backbone of Team India’s batting but as a skipper he still has a long way to go. He needs to get it straight sooner rather than later else the likes of Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane are waiting in the wings.