5 Players Who Were Backed Fully By Virat Kohli

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5 Players Who Were Backed Fully By Virat Kohli: Virat Kohli’s tenure as India’s captain came to an end on Saturday when the 33-year-old relinquished his Test captaincy. He had been replaced by Rohit Sharma already as the T20I and ODI skipper after the T20 World Cup last year.

Virat Kohli became the full-time Test captain in 2015 and took over the white-ball leadership in 2017. He finishes as India’s most successful Test skipper and also registered some historical white-ball series wins away from home.

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Here, we look at 5 players who received complete backing from Virat Kohli during his captaincy tenure:

Yuzvendra Chahal

Following the 2017 Champions Trophy final loss, Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri understood that it was time to move towards leg-spin from off-spin. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were dropped as Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav emerged as the premier leg-spinners. Both the wrist-spinners helped India win in series both at home and away leading into the 2019 World Cup.

However, after the beating both got from England during the World Cup, it was time for one of them to be dropped – it was Kuldeep who was axed while Kohli persisted with Chahal till the semi-final loss.

As Kuldeep slowly faded away from the national side, Chahal remained Kohli’s go-to spinner in white-ball cricket until he was surprisingly axed ahead of last year’s T20 World Cup.

Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane has been the player who has got the longest rope by the management despite no towering performance on any side in the world in recent memory. Rahane averages less than 40 after 80 Tests.

While he has been in a lean form for a long time, it got overshadowed by the under-par form of Kohli. Now, with Kohli not the captain anymore, it could mean that Rahane’s time is up with the national side.

Cheteshwar Pujara

While Virat Kohli hasn’t raised a ton since November 2019, Pujara hasn’t reached three figures since January 2019. Similar to the case of Rahane, Pujara’s lack of a big knock has been masked by that of Kohli’s.

He averages 26 from the start of 2020. Pujara, too, has got a long rope from Kohli and the management; the current management and the previous one hadn’t been bolder in dropping both Pujara and Rahane for their continued inconsistent show over the past two years.

Mohammed Shami

Virat Kohli hailed Mohammed Shami as one of “the best three seamers in the world” after India beat South Africa in the first Test in Centurion. But, it has been a long, hard journey for Shami to come so far after making his debut in 2013.

Shami’s initial career had been plagued with regular injuries when he was under MS Dhoni. However, when Virat Kohli took over, he emphasized heavily on fitness. He put his trust in Shami realizing the pacer’s potential and that was reflected in Shami’s much-improved fitness during Kohli’s tenure as captain.

Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant was fast-tracked into the national side after his thunderous performances in the IPL and domestic cricket. However, Pant didn’t crack it into the early white-ball matches before Kohli gave him the opportunity in Test cricket. He smashed a hundred each on his maiden tours to England and Australia.

The left-hander, though, remained inconsistent and was often under the scanner for his shot selections, which is still a bone of contention, and was dropped from the first Test in Australia on the previous tour.

He was then given another chance at Test cricket – and Pant grabbed it with both hands with memorable knocks in Sydney and Brisbane before thumping a century at home versus England.

On the away England and South Africa tour, Pant once again got stuck but Kohli remained firm on his ground about Pant’s place in the eleven. The 24-year-old repaid that faith with a terrific century in Cape Town.

Also Read: Complete Text Of The Open Letter Anushka Sharma Wrote For Virat Kohli