The former cricketer turned veteran commentator Sanjay Manjrekar recently opined on how Virat Kohli enjoys being on the field, similar to how the batting legend Sachin Tendulkar used to during his playing days. However, Manjrekar reckoned that playing the game is Kohli’s main motive. He also claimed that the star batter isn’t too concerned with power or leadership, as he believes staying with the team is more important to Kohli as well. He also added that Kohli led India for a very long time, so there was no question of him being unhappy with the change in leadership as well.
Speaking on sports journalist Vimal Kumar’s YouTube channel, Sanjay Manjrekar said: “The one similarity between Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar is that both of them enjoy playing cricket. They want to be on the field. He was not part of the team for the game against Bangladesh but was still on the field. I don’t think Virat Kohli wants power or leadership. He just wants to play and it looks like he enjoys being a part of the team,” he added. “He captained the team for a very long time, so there is no scope for an unfulfilled dream. Being with the team, travelling with players, going to the ground, and being part of winning moments are more important to him than having power.”
However, Virat Kohli led India across formats before Rohit Sharma was handed over the captaincy. His stint ended after he resigned from India’s Test captaincy on January 15, 2022 as well. Meanwhile, Sanjay Manjrekar also shared that while Virat Kohli has performed well in red-ball cricket, equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 51 Test centuries will be a tough task for him as well. Notably, he has 29 Test tons to his name and is only two behind Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI centuries as well.
“Sachin Tendulkar has 51 hundreds, 17 more than what Sunil Gavaskar finished with. For a good player, accumulating runs in ODIs is comparatively easy, as bowlers don’t always try to take a wicket. Tendulkar and Kohli are special because they also have a lot of Test hundreds. However, I believe it will be very difficult for Kohli to reach 51 Test centuries,” Sanjay Manjrekar again stated.
He also applauded Team India captain Rohit Sharma’s leadership style. He added that the captain makes people around him very comfortable. He also added that Sharma is very secure, which is one of his best qualities as well.
He said: “Players feel comfortable around Rohit Sharma. Yes, they would respect him as a captain and a player, but it might not be very formal. The best thing about Rohit Sharma is that he is very secure. You never feel like he is trying to project an image of himself. Very few public figures are secure, and Rohit is one of them.”
“The environment within the Indian team has changed. There is a positive culture now. We saw how KL Rahul reacted when Kuldeep Yadav took a wicket after his suggestion. Similarly, when Axar Patel was batting, everyone was very happy to see him do well. There is professional respect among each other,” Sanjay Manjrekar concluded. “There is a kind of understanding. This is very important because when we played, there wasn’t such an environment, and everyone played for their survival. From the visuals that I have seen, it seems as if these players genuinely enjoy each other’s success. There is mutual respect, as they have all been through the same things.”