New Delhi, Oct 22: India captain Virat Kohli received a word of praise from his Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teammate AB de Villiers. The 29-year-old, who slammed his 36th ODI century in the first ODI against West Indies, led his team from the front and made the run chase of 323 look ridiculously easy.
The former South Africa cricketer, De Villiers, who is hailed as one of the best limited-overs players, on the sidelines of Royal Stag Perfect Strokes event in New Delhi said the Indian skipper is a dear friend to him and that he has closely observed the latter's transformation as a cricketer as well as a leader in the last few years. The former SA captain termed Kohli's attitude of leading from the front inspires his teammates to follow him.
The Protea legend was quoted by India Today as saying, "Virat is a fantastic captain. We're friends, I have seen him grow from strength to strength in the last few years and there's no doubt that he's a great captain. I really enjoyed playing under him, he leads by example and his teammates follow him. So, I'm expecting a lot of success for him and his team in the next few years."
De Villiers also backed the much-vaunted Indian batting line-up which failed badly in England during the five-Test series. Barring Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, no other batsman rose to the occasion as India ended up losing the series 4-1. The Protea great felt every player or team goes through such phases and stressed that the present Indian side is full of match winners and failures are just part of the game.
"Every batsman in the world goes through phases, no matter who you are, and the minute you fail everyone goes like 'but he was just exposed, oh wait, it's in England so okay he's bad in England conditions'. The Indian batting line-up is one of the best in the world if not the best so they didn't play so well collectively in England and now everyone's suddenly saying that they can't play in England, they should be dropped and whatever. That's the nature of sport and I have had 15 years of that.
"The minute I fail people go like 'alright, why has he failed? Probably because of the wicket and he probably can't play on that kind of wicket. So I can't play spin or I can't play seam, which is quite funny.
"There is nothing wrong with the Indian batting line-up, believe me. They are all match-winners, they are incredibly talented, gifted players. Whether they are backed by people above them or by the media, that's a different beast but there's no doubt they can all be no.1 players in the world," De Villiers added further.