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Virat Kohli needs people who challenge him around: Mike Brearely

Virat Kohli needed to be challenged as a captain, says former England captain Mike Brearely

London, October 8: Former England captain Mike Brearley said he was disappointed with Indian skipper Virat Kohli as a captain in the fifth and final Test against England at The Oval. India suffered a 1-4 Test series loss, with the final game at the Oval lost by 114 runs - a margin which could have been much bigger had it not been for the centuries of KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant.

"I was slightly disappointed with his captaincy at The Oval, when England started to get on top," Brearley was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. "He let things drift a bit, whereas when the match was evenly fought, or they were in with a chance, or had the new ball against Root, he was keen-eyed, hawk-eyed, articulate, non-stop

"I admire him probably as much as any cricketer I've seen. But there is a risk: everyone's strengths can become faults and in his case his articulacy, his charisma, his presence, his skill, his fierce thoughtfulness could become tyrannical, a bit autocratic.

"He needs people around him who will tackle him, take him on, challenge him, otherwise he'll get opinionated and dogmatic, and then powerful - sometimes for good, sometimes not. I can imagine he might be difficult to play for. He'd be very impatient of carelessness or laziness or lack of intensity. And some people aren't of that mentality," said Brearley.

Brearley also said sending England all-rounder Ben Stokes up the batting order is a viable option, considering that the southpaw has a good defence.

"I thought of Stokes because he's got a good classical defence. Now the only trouble is - it's a bit like Botham - you don't know if batting up the order is going to inhibit him. Should he remain at 5 or 6 or 7? I just don't know the answer.

"I even thought he might open the batting in Sri Lanka and the West Indies, especially if he's going to be fourth seamer and bowl in bursts now and then to intimidate and stir them up," he said.

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    Story first published: Monday, October 8, 2018, 11:47 [IST]
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