Former Australian skipper Steve Waugh reckons that Virat Kohli’s aggression was a “little over the top” in the recently concluded tour of South Africa but it is all a part of his development as a charismatic India skipper. Indian team has a decent run in the 58-day tour, during which the side lost the Test series 1-2 but dominatingly clinched the ODI and T20I series 5-1 and 2-1 respectively. Kohli’s instrumental performance with the bat was among the biggest positives to be drawn from the grueling two months.
As quoted in PTI, during the Laureus World Sports Awards, Waugh said, “I have seen him in South Africa and I feel that he was little over the top. But that’s a learning thing for a captain. As a captain, he (Kohli) is still developing and needs some time to pull in his excitement factor and emotions but that’s the way he plays. At times he probably needs to tone his aggression down and at times he needs to lift it, so he needs to work it out what’s right.”
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The Australian legend, however, asserted that he has immense respect for Kohli – the player. He said, “He (Kohli) is leading very well right now. He has that charisma and that X-factor and so he wants all the rest of the team to follow him. He wants the team to play positively all the time and win as quickly as he can. They have got a very good win record in the last couple of years in all forms of the game. Virat has high aspirations for his team. He wants to be no.1 across all formats which is difficult to do these days.”
Kohli and his men have now been looking pretty confident to conquer England and Australia, India’s upcoming two big Test challenges later this year. India will play a five-Test series in England in August and September and are due to tour Australia for four Tests in the summer of 2018-19.
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But Waugh reckons it would be easier said than done and Kohli would be key to India’s success in Australia. He described, “Australia will be favorites in Australia because we have got such a great record, just like India in India. Virat (Kohli) would obviously be the key in Australia. He played amazing in Australia last time. India is a very confident young side and they are playing with great confidence and passion that their captain believes in. They believe they can win in Australia no doubt.”
He further added, “To be fair, the pitches will suit India more than the past because the pitches are very benign at the moment. So they will definitely suit the Indian batsmen and the spinners will come into action more. So I think it would be a very competitive series.”
Waugh Supported Dhoni
Despite the Test series loss in South Africa, India has managed to retain the ICC Test Championship mace for two years in a row but Steve feels there isn’t much difference between the top three sides — India, South Africa, and Australia. Talking about Kohli’s predecessor MS Dhoni, Waugh said the inspirational wicketkeeper-batsman is looking good enough to carry on until at least next year’s World Cup.
Steve Waugh concluded by talking about Mahi, he said, “He (Dhoni) is still a great player but he needs to have that energy and that spark which right now, he does have. But 12 months is still long, long way. He is definitely good enough but sometimes when you get a bit older you don’t prepare as well as you have done before but right now it looks like he is doing that. He is keen, he is a great leader and he is a winner.”