Bengaluru, June 30: Flamboyant Indian skipper Virat Kohli has proven his mettle as a player over the years and established himself as one of the best players to have graced the sport.
While Kohli’s calibre as a player has never been questioned, his leadership skills have often come under the radar as the Indian team is yet to lift a major trophy under the current Indian skipper.
Kohli took over the Test captaincy from MS Dhoni in 2014 and since then the Indian team have established themselves as a force to reckon with in the longest format of the game. In 2017, Kohli took over the skipper’s role in all formats, but though they have reached the knockout stages of major tournaments, they are yet to win a trophy.
While Kohli has received both praise and criticism for his captaincy, his deputy, Rohit Sharma, has also established himself as a good leader. In Kohli’s absence, Rohit has donned the skipper’s hat in some major series, and he has proved himself fit for the role.
With India not laying their hands on any major trophies under Kohli’s leadership, many former players and critics have questioned his skills as a captain. On Tuesday, former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra also voiced his opinion and stated that the Indian team was lucky to have two natural leaders in the team, as both Kohli and Rohit have led the team from the front.
But Chopra also added that if Kohli fails to lead to Indian team to any major trophy over the next couple of years, the Indian team might need a change in captaincy.
During an interaction with sports presenter Sawera Pasha on Youtube, Chopra said, “India is blessed. If India feels six months or one and half years down the line that we need a change of guard, I don’t think Kohli’s performance will get affected.
“He has reached that level wherein he won’t come down from there. His performances will be unaffected regardless of whether he is the captain or not.”
This year’s edition of the ICC T20 World Cup hangs in the balance due to the coronavirus pandemic and the next edition of the event is set to be held in India. Chopra feels that if India fails to lay their hands on a trophy in these two big events, then the Indian board might look to change the leadership.
Chopra went on to add that Rohit was a good alternative, but he still backed Kohli, stating that he was improving as a captain. “But as a team, sometimes you want a different direction. If you reach that stage, then Rohit Sharma is a readymade choice available. But till then, you need to persist with Kohli, he is improving as a captain,” said Chopra.
“If he has a good bowling attack, like the one he has in Tests, he is a fine captain who knows how to handle the bowlers well. But if he doesn’t have good bowlers, just like the case at RCB, then he is also not that aggressive. For the next 10-12 months I think it will be Kohli. But after that if you are looking for a change of guard.. I wish India wins an ICC event soon because after 2013 we haven’t won anything,” added Chopra.
Chopra added the T20 World Cups will be Kohli’s chance to lay his hands on a major trophy. “There is a T20 World Cup in India as well. Hopefully, India should win one of these two. If they don’t win, then you may start thinking 'let’s look for a change in leadershop and find a different tone now’,” signed off Chopra.
India have not won any major ICC trophy since 2013 when Dhoni led the Indian team to Champions Trophy glory.