Mahendra Singh Dhoni is undoubtedly one of the most successful captains in the game of cricket. From winning all 3 ICC titles to being No.1 in Tests, Dhoni’s plethora of achievements took Indian cricket to another level. However, Dhoni has often faced criticism for his captaincy in the red-ball format. His successor Kohli however changed the fortunes of the team in overseas trips as India became the powerhouse in Test cricket.
From winning consecutive series in Australia to leading the series in England, Kohli realized the dream to conquer foreign frontiers and replicate the supremacy of the mighty Aussies in the 2000s and Carribeans in the 1970s and 80s. While Dhoni relied on the spin, Kohli backed pacers and went on to build a reckoning pace attack with a great blend of experience, skill, and youth. Recently, veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh addressed why Kohli in many ways bettered Dhoni when it came to leading the squad in Tests,
Kohli eyes for victory and never settles for a draw
“Virat’s temperament totally suits the Indian setup. We need players like this to take the team forward, and Virat Kohli did that. Earlier, when the team would go to Australia, we would think about saving the Test series. Under Virat’s captaincy, there has been a change where we think about how do we go and win the Test series in Australia”, Bhajji said.
Citing an example, Harbhajan described Kohli’s mentality to never accept defeat,
“I remember in one of those series, where he had scored a lot of runs, although India had lost the Test series. In that match, India had to chase some 400 runs, and Kohli had scored a big century. So, when he returned to the pavilion, I told him that the match could have ended in a draw, but he replied that ‘there is no importance of a drawn Test, either you win, or you lose, and the day we learn to fight, we will learn to win and someday we will”,
How captaincy got the best out of the modern-day maestro
The Turbanotar further said how Dhoni was a player who lead from the back while Kohli believed in leading his men from the front. Bhaji stresses the fact that it was Kohli’s hard-hitting approach to the game that helped him to be the modern-day run machine. Kohli, not just an aggressive skipper, is also his team’s leading figure with the willow.
“And that is the change you have noticed in this Indian side. They went to Australia and beat them twice, they played well in England, and I hope they beat South Africa in this series, although this South African side isn’t that great. So, Kohli has perfectly played his role as a leader. And his aggressive approach has made Virat Kohli the player he is today. If Virat Kohli was soft like MS Dhoni, I don’t think he would have scored so many runs,”
Harbhajan on Christmas eve took on social media to bid adieu to the game. On the other side, Team India trounced the bastion of Centurion thrashing the Proteas in the rain-affected 1st Test. They will now head to Johannesburg, a place where India has never lost a Test match.
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