Mahendra Singh Dhoni never gave us the opportunity to know what would be going on in his mind while being on the field and off the field. During a match, more often a test match, his decisions would take us by surprise. His field placements too gave the opportunity to the critics to criticise his defensive approach. His denial of taking new ball in crucial situations would leave everybody in shock. And with his sudden retirement announcement, he showed why he had a mind that nobody couldn’t or wouldn’t ever be able to know what was going on. But now, it is time his coolness be replaced by the aggressiveness of a player who could fill the shoes of an Indian captain. Who else can be a more appropriate person than Virat Kohli himself?
All through his career, he has always been given the opportunity to captain a side. Be it the Delhi under-15 side or the Under-19 national side, he has always led the team from the front. In the absence of Dhoni, he has also led the side sometimes in the limited overs format but the real test is captaining in test cricket.
I feel a captain standing at Mid-Off position will have more effect than a captain standing behind the stumps. Kohli will have the freelance of talking to the bowlers, bring out their confidence and spur them on. No doubt Kohli will bring aggressiveness into the game. He will talk to the players, sledge the opponents, which will also bring interest.
If the Delhi lad continues to promise with the bat, then it will have an inspiring effect on the whole team as the performance of the players depend severely on how the captain is performing. If he shows the team how to battle it out in the middle, the players will be injected with new life in them which can sometimes turn the course of a match. Virat has the ability to lead from the front and I am sure he will carry on doing good job with both bat and mind. The recent series in Australia, where he has scored centuries in both test matches as captain, Kohli has proved that he knows how to handle pressure. It seems captaincy will not affect his batting as he is used to leading teams right when he was just 15. Some players’ game improve when they are made captain (Graeme Smith scored consecutive double centuries in his 1st two tests as Captain) and we are lucky that India has finally got a captain of such calibre.
One thing which the young captain will have problem dealing with is India’s bowling unit. India have the requisite batting and fielding resources but in the department of bowling, India are lagging severely. If India somehow improve their standard of bowling, they will surely be the team to beat anywhere in the world.
We got the trailer of Kohli’s captaincy in the Adelaide test when the whole team went for the kill and ended up just 48 runs short from a memorable victory. Under Dhoni’s captaincy, India have many times wasted such opportunities and have rather settled for a draw but come Virat Kohli and the attitude of the team changes accordingly. In this way, the team will improve and fruits of hard work and aggressive attitude will undoubtedly grow in future.