Five reasons why Kohli is a great Test captain

first_imgVirat Kohli’s leadership skills go way back to 2008. While India was settling under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni Down Under in Australia in the CB Series and Sachin Tendulkar was stealing the headlines for his match-winning knocks in the finals,  a 19-year-old Kohli was leading an under-19 Indian side to World Cup glory in Malaysia. He actually achieved the feat with some inspiring captaincy as India defended a mere total of 159 to beat South Africa and lift the cup. (Also read: Virat Kohli all set to become India’s third most successful Test captain)A little over six years later, when Kohli was asked to captain the side in the first Test in Australia during the 2014-15 Border Gavaskar Trophy after Dhoni missed out due to an injury, the Delhi boy did not let himself and the country down in his first assignment. India lost the match in Adelaide by just 48 runs, chasing a mammoth score of 364 but Kohli scored two inspiring centuries and set the tone for his captaincy.Fast forward to 2017 and after captaining India in 22 Tests, he has won 14, drawn six and lost just two. He has a win per cent of 63.63. He has now led India to their fifth successive series win as India beat England in the five-match Test series and India are currently the No.1 Test side in the world. As Bangladesh come to town, followed by the four-match Australia series, his numbers as captain are fully expected to be on the rise.So, what makes him such a successful captain in such a short time? (Also read: Virat Kohli best in the world, Ricky Ponting’s verdict)advertisementLEADS FROM THE FRONTKohli is a run-machine. He has seldom failed to deliver for India with the bat. Not only in India, he has scored wherever he has gone. Be it Australia, Sri Lanka or the West Indies, the stylish right-hander has dominated bowlers everywhere. Barring the England tour, Kohli – the batsman has scored the majority of India’s runs in most of the formats.In the recently concluded ‘revenge’ series against England, he scored 655 runs in five Test matches at an average of 109.16. Not only that, he was the fourth highest run-scorer in the calendar year 2016 with 1215 runs from 12 matches at an average of 75.93. He also scored three double centuries in 2016, becoming the fifth ever batsman and third captain to achieve this feat. (Also read: When a star-struck Virat Kohli met Virender Sehwag)BOWLING ARSENALWell, this might be surprising and a rare occurrence in the history of Indian cricket but Kohli has got a brilliant lot of fast and consistent pacers to work with.Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin have been shining with the ball under him on a regular basis but the pace duo of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav have ably supported the spinners. Not only that, the likes of young Jayant Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have consistently performed when given the chance.Reuters PhotoBhuvi especially has been very cleverly used by India under the Kohli-Anil Kumble era and he has come up with the goods each time, picking up two match winning five-wicket hauls in the process.FITNESS FREAKFor the first time in Indian cricket, the team has someone to look up to in terms of raw energy and fitness. Kohli leads off the field as well with his love for staying fit and maintaining a proper diet. If one follows him on social media, he or she will find loads of pictures and videos of his rigorous training in the gym and how he has evolved over the years.This habit has had a positive effect on others as well. The whole team is in a much better shape and India are one of the better fielding sides around the world. Kohli has made sure that everybody stays fit and works on it regularly. Tweet to R Ashwin if you don’t believe me.NATURAL AGRESSIONHe is, was and always will be the aggressor. While his antics on the field are a rarity now, his style of play has remained the same. The only difference from the Kohli of 2017 to the one of 2012 is that he has mellowed down as a character and lets the bat do the talking. He thrives under pressure and chases the target head on, that’s what makes him so dangerous and successful as a chaser in limited overs cricket.Reuters PhotoIn seven years of international cricket, you will struggle to find dull Kohli moments due to his actions. Who can forget what he did at the Sydney Cricket Ground but with responsibilities and experience he has made sure that he now entertains the crowd with his bat and not fingers.  advertisementLACK OF INSECURTIYHowever, the best part of his captaincy has been the brave attitude he has shown in his team selection. Dhoni was accused of not preferring the senior members of the squad much. Although there was nothing out there in the open but whispers were definitely there.But, Kohli rose above that and has shown tremendous faith in Yuvraj Singh by bringing him back into the squad and Yuvi repaid the faith shown with a vintage 150 in the second ODI in Cuttack and a breezy 27 off 10 balls during the third T20I in Bengaluru.Not only that, Kohli has shown immense respect towards MS Dhoni and asked him to play freely and bat anywhere in the batting order. He always maintained that he is here because of the former Indian captain and he has a lot to learn from him. This actually shows his class.Well, he has a long road ahead and much stricter tests to go through but he has certainly shown the right signs going forward.last_img

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