In the realm of cricket, former South African seamer Vernon Philander has commended the leadership of Virat Kohli for the remarkable ascent of Indian bowlers. Over the past few years, Team India, under Kohli’s captaincy in red-ball cricket, transformed into a formidable fast-bowling unit, delivering memorable performances in overseas conditions, including Australia and England.
Philander credited Virat Kohli’s vision and leadership for India’s success in producing exceptional fast-bowling talent. Kohli assumed captaincy during India’s tour of Australia in 2013-14 and achieved remarkable success before stepping down from the post in early 2022. Philander highlighted India’s continuous improvement, especially in Australia, as a positive sign for the country’s ability to produce quality bowlers.
“Every time India comes here, they seem to be performing better than the previous tour. In the subcontinent, Indian spinners have been winning the games, but it’s just good to see the Indian team winning in Australia,” Vernon Philander stated in an interview with PTI. “That’s a very positive sign for India to produce those sorts of bowlers… It is also on the back of great leadership.”
He specifically praised Virat Kohli for propelling Indian bowlers to learn and enhance their skills, referencing India’s historic Test series triumph against Australia in 2018-19 under Kohli’s leadership.
Vernon Philander, renowned for his stellar record against India at home, where he claimed 25 wickets in five Tests (2013 and 2018) at an average of 18, also spoke about his battles with Kohli. The 38-year-old acknowledged Kohli as the toughest opponent he has faced in his career, attributing it to Kohli’s strong character and his ability to make life difficult for bowlers.
Reflecting on the upcoming T20 World Cup, Philander expressed concerns about potential player exhaustion, especially bowlers, due to the proximity of the tournament to the IPL. He emphasized the importance of workload management to ensure players’ optimal performance during the T20 World Cup.
Philander, who did not participate in the IPL during his playing career, expressed his desire to be part of the tournament in the future, possibly as a coach or consultant. He sees the IPL as a significant platform to share his knowledge and expertise with young players.
“IPL is the one tournament you want to be a part of at one stage. Maybe now as a coach or consultant. Hopefully, a window will open soon where I can take part and share my knowledge with the young players,” Vernon Philander concluded.