Cricket

5 Reasons Why Virat Kohli Is The Greatest Indian Test Captain

There has been a lot of chaos that has surrounded Virat Kohli recently after the Indian skipper has failed to put some big runs on the board in the longest format of the game. Despite getting a couple of good starts, he failed to flip the tide around and threw away the momentum.

Talks about stripping off the Indian captaincy from Kohli have also taken the internet by storm. However, let’s just stitch together a few facts that will spark if not a debate but a wee argument over the Indian skipper’s credentials in the longest format of the game.

Before I delve into the specifics of this story, let me narrate another tale that will involve another iconic Indian captain, Sourav Ganguly. When he took over the reins of the team and we were up against the likes of the mighty Australians, he dared to challenge their cold-blooded supremacy.

Things turned better for him as a batsman and a captain in the next couple of years with his captaincy stint peaking in the 2003 World Cup where India was handed over a defeat in the final by an untenable Australia.

That is when the fall of his batting in the shorter format of the game started. Despite exhibiting occasional bursts of brilliance, he was unable to hit double figures in almost every alternate game. However, India still managed to turn things around in extraordinary fashion and it was a better spectacle to watch when they were up against a formidable side in a closely contested thriller.

Everyone said that it was the bowlers or the new bout of sting introduced by the budding batters that helped India to win but when it came to the decisions on the field, Ganguly took a firm stance and carved several victories for India as a thinktank despite not being able to garner major figures with the bat.

Now coming to VK, he is one of the most animated skippers throughout the world and being candid the man wears his heart on the sleeves. He doesn’t hesitate in making decisions, neither does he backs down from a fight.

However, there are always two sides of a coin and maybe the first one will render Kohli slowing down with the bat while the other may have tales of his heroism as a skipper. We will try to divulge five reasons why Kohli is India’s best Test captain.

#1 Aggression personified

You do not walk out of the ground unscathed if you try to get at Kohli or his players under circumstances. The recent incident that happened between Bumrah and Buttler led Kohli to be fired up in the stands and when India came out to the field, he paid the English in a similar coin. People may say that shouting and being outrageous on the field isn’t exactly the solution to every dilemma. Maybe it is true but at the same time, it is important that you talk down the other who tries to get under your skin.

Remember that iconic fight between Miandad and Dennis Lillee where the latter kicked the Pakistani batsman and he retaliated by swinging his bat at him? Kohli is just an advanced version of the same. He doesn’t believe in mercy. If you are good towards him, he will be celestial towards you but if you want a bite at his players, brace yourself for something worse. Especially in the longer format of the game, these actions make his players believe that they have a leader who can lay down his life for theirs.

#2 Unwavering support for his players

A player needs nothing more if his captain believes in him. A leader’s trust is seldom misplaced and when you have the most towering man in the house backing you under any situation, it is needless to say but the best will come out.

Let’s take a few names that unfurled due to the immense support that Kohli showed to his fellow teammates. KL Rahul, T Natarajan, Mohammed Siraj, Rishabh Pant and an entire brigade of youngsters who never had to think of being questioned in his presence. Siraj left England rattled with an extraordinary brand of bowling and the fact that Kohli dared to bring him on when he went wicket-less for the opening spell in the second innings while Moeen Ali and Buttler were insinuating a strong band of resistance, exemplifies the belief that Kohli has for his players.

#3 A few records hither and yon

Kohli went past the iconic Clive Lloyd with his 37th win as a captain. He is currently fourth on the list with Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh and Graeme Smith ahead of him. In 2019, he also shattered Mahi’s record of 28 wins as a Test captain.

Under his leadership, India has bagged 23 victories from 30 matches at home. Kohli also holds the record of the highest Test wins as a captain away from home that features the likes of the remarkable Johannesburg, Nottingham, Adelaide, Lord’s and Melbourne. He also holds the record of the highest number of declarations away from home against the mighty SENA nations.

#4 A few ranks that he holds

After Kapil Dev, Kohli became the first-ever Indian captain to make Australia follow-on in Australia. In 2018, India’s remarkable series triumph Down Under made him the first-ever captain to win a series in Australia.

Despite his recent decline in batting, Kohli still stands as the highest run-scorer in Test cricket as an Indian captain. He has managed to garner 5511 runs at an astonishing average of 56.81. He has managed 27 centuries and 25 half-centuries so far. You may point out his recent woes but you may be surprised at the man’s stunning ability to lead.

#5 The man with a heart of a lion

 

After ample talks about his figures, I will just tell you that he comes with the heart of a lion. Totally uncompromising on the field, he doesn’t like losing. At the end of the day, he may be faltering for a while now and that is what makes him human. A God is the epitome of perfection and yet we saw Sachin Tendulkar falter as well.

Let us not forget what incredible courage Kohli has shown over the years and how he has dominated the proceedings over the last couple of years in a pandemic-hit world. In the last couple of days, Allan Donald has opened up about how VK told him about taking India to the top from the seventh position in 2015. You may not agree to this but India currently holds the second position as New Zealand bagged the ace with the mace in their repertoire. A rise so meteoric needs an astronaut as strong as the ones who embodied mankind’s first step on the moon and Kohli epitomizes the Armstrongs and Aldrins in terms of cricket.

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