What’s the story?
He might be having a horrid series with the bat, but Virat Kohli has been under the limelight throughout the ongoing India-Australia series for his combative approach. His captaincy tactics have been insipid at times, but he has been rolled his sleeves up and stuck for the team. The Australian media might be throwing muck at the Indian captain , but former Australian skipper Steve Waugh has come out in praise of Kohli, stating that he finds traces of Ricky Ponting and himself in the 28-year old’s captaincy.
"There's probably elements of Ricky and myself in his captaincy, but having said that he's his own man”, said Waugh while speaking to cricket.com.au.
In case you didn’t know…
Before his streak was broken against Australia in Pune in the first Test, Kohli had led India to an unbeaten stretch of 19 matches unbeaten, becoming the third most successful Indian Test skipper of all time, just behind MS Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly.
After 23 Tests, Kohli had the record for most wins overall, just behind Steve Waugh. He broke Sunil Gavaskar’s record of 18 successive wins, set between 1976 and 1980.
The heart of the matter
While Waugh and Ponting’s personal styles were different, they were united by the aggressive and tough Aussie character, elements that are clearly visible in Kohli. Waugh was clear in stating that the Indian captain’s aggression encourages his troops to perform to their potential and brings a positive mindset in the set-up.
He stressed on the need for the skipper to carry himself positively is a crucial element of captaincy. Lauding Ponting for being a tough character who would even head to the bat-pad position to field when required, Waugh finds the same traits in Kohli as well. He called Kohli the new face of India, and encouraged the Delhi-lad to carry on in the same aggressive vein in the coming days.
Having encountered his first ever Test loss at Pune, and having failed to force a win in Ranchi, Kohli & Co. will have to come out all guns blazing to win the final Test at Dharamsala and clinch the series. The match starts on March 25.
He might be getting high praise, and the results are there to show, Kohli is far from being a finished product as far as captaincy is concerned. In the Ranchi Test, chinks in his captaincy tactics were exposed, especially instances like him not bringing in spin from both sides on a day 5 pitch, or leaving attacking positions like silly point and backward short leg vacant.
Hopefully, Kohli keeps his head on his shoulders and keeps learning as a skipper, for sterner Tests await him abroad.