What’s the story?
Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has said that there is a lot of ‘Australian’ in present Indian captain Virat Kohli and added that he liked his style of captaincy, which revolves around taking the game forward, as much as possible.
“He is a superstar. He reminds me so much of Sachin and there are not too many people who remind you of him. I like Virat's leadership style. He is an aggressive captain and looks to win, take wickets and score runs. I liked the way he spoke after the Pune Test. He accepts he is accountable as captain. He is a wonderful guy and a tough cricketer. I enjoyed playing against him because he has a lot of Australian in him; the fight, the stubbornness. I had that as an Australian captain. His leadership will only get better because he has his own style which he is confident of,” Clarke told the Times of India in an interview.
The venue for the second Test between India and Australia will bring back special memories for Clarke as it was at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, back in 2004, that he debuted as a 23-year-old and stroked his way to a score of 151.
“It is special to be back in Bangalore because I have so many fond memories here. To walk into the ground will be special. I'm looking forward to walking down to the pitch and enjoying the feel of being back at the place where it all started for me,” the former right-hander said.
In case you didn’t know....
It was in the 2004 tour to India that the Australian team management decided to punt on a 23-year-old middle-order batsman, who went by the name of Michael Clarke. The right-hander had played a few ODIs, prior to making his Test debut, but this was a totally different kettle of fish as he faced up to the likes of Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and others in front of a vociferous Chinnaswamy Stadium crowd.
His response: A superb 151 that laid the platform for a comprehensive win for his side by 217 runs.
The heart of the matter
Clarke also commented on Kohli’s counterpart in this series-Steve Smith- stating that the current Australian skipper had been through a lot of ups-and-downs, but complemented his ability to continue scoring runs from his bat and lead from the front, just how a leader should at all times.
He further added that in cricket, the most critical relationship was the one between a coach and a captain and Kohli and head coach Anil Kumble got along very well as a team and complement one another well.
Here’s the video of Clarke’s exceptional performance against India on his Test debut in 2004:
It is interesting to hear a former Australian captain say that Kohli was bit like an Australian in nature thanks to his aggressive instincts and the manner in which he does not shy away from a challenge.
This trait of Kohli of not backing down when an opportunity to give it back, confronts him, is very refreshing to see and it augurs well for Indian cricket to have such a captain, who is not overawed by the opposition.