Former Indian cricketer and star batsman VVS Laxman analyses current Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Laxman knows a thing or two about playing Down Under Kohli. In his time, VVS Laxman has managed to showcase resilience and patience when he faced the Aussies on more than one occasion.
The most unforgettable of them all will have to be the patient 281 he scored alongside Rahul Dravid (180) to snatch victory from the Aussies during the March 2001 Kolkata Test. India went on to win the match by 171 runs after being given a follow on.
Speaking exclusively on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, former Team India batsman VVS Laxman analyses Virat Kohli’s captaincy and areas in leadership he needs to improve ahead of the Test series against Australia.
VVS Laxman on Virat Kohli
“I think he has done a fantastic job for Team India as a Test match captain. If you see, for four years, the Indian team was the No. 1 Test-playing nation in world cricket. Only this year, Australia took over as the No. 1 Test-playing nation.
What I really like is that he leads by example and that’s what you want to see from a leader. The way he creates the value system, the way he creates the culture within the team.
I mentioned so many times, the intensity and the body language he shows when he’s on the field, whether he’s batting or fielding, I think he leads by example and that is so infectious. It rubs off on all of his team-mates and that’s why he’s a perfect role model of how a captain should be.”
“Yes, there have been certain things which he requires to improve and as we all know, till you hang your boots, everyone requires to introspect and get better. There’s still work-in-progress as far as captaincy is concerned.
Laxman wants Kohli to improve in these two
Couple of things I think Virat Kohli can improve. When we covered the Indian team matches, there were certain times when I felt that he becomes little defensive, especially with his field changes.
When a new batsman comes in and two quality spinners are bowling, he has a fielder in the deep, allowing the batsman to easily get his eye in and probably rotate the strike. So, sometimes probably that is one thing which I feel Virat Kohli can improve on.
The second thing is chopping and changing the playing 11. With experience, I can say that any player, whether experienced or a newcomer, wants that stability, security so that he can focus on performing to the best of his abilities for the team. That’s something which Virat Kohli can definitely improve on,” Laxman added.
VVS Laxman also went on to highlight the biggest challenges Team India could face in the opening Pink Ball Test at Adelaide that begins from December 17th, “I think it’s the batting line-up and it’s the opening combination.
When we see the practice games, I was surprised that KL Rahul was not playing the only practice match with the Pink Ball. That means he is not in the fray as far as the first Test is concerned, which means it has to be decided between Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill.
Prithvi Shaw, low in confidence, Shubman Gill hasn’t played a single Test match, so inexperience is there as far as the opening partner, who is going to open with Mayank Agarwal. So, that’s the biggest question I feel Virat Kohli has in front of him.”