Even though India managed to win their 8th T20I match on the trot yesterday against Australia, criticism of Virat Kohli's team selection and captaincy flowed in from all corners.
The pattern has become all too clear - former Indian cricketers are increasingly speaking out against the Indian skipper's leadership. Often ringing in a number of unnecessary changes to the playing XI, rotating his bowlers without any logic and shuffling the batting order at will, Virat Kohli's reputation as an international captain is hanging by a thread.
Here are 4 former Indian cricket team legends who have hit out at Virat Kohli's captaincy during the ongoing series Down Under.
#4 Ashish Nehra
After the 2nd India-Australia ODI at the SCG in which the Men in Blue suffered a 51-run defeat, former pacer Ashish Nehra had some choice words for Virat Kohli's decision-making.
Saying that the Indian captain was too hasty with his bowling changes, Nehra labelled Kohli as an 'impulsive captain' who makes too many needless alterations.
"Virat Kohli is being hasty in his decisions. In the previous game (first ODI) as well, after Kohli was dropped, it seemed like he is in a hurry. Kohli has chased 350 several times in his career, it is not a big deal for him. But it seemed like he was chasing 475, not 375.
"I believe Kohli is an impulsive captain. He is making too many changes in his bowling. And this is an area that he needs to take care of."
Nehra is known to be good friends with Virat Kohli, so these statements did come as a slight surprise. He expressed his shock at Rohit Sharma's injury fiasco as well.
#3 Mohammad Kaif
The most recent man to hit out at Virat Kohli's captaincy, former Indian batsman Mohammad Kaif compared the current skipper's tenure to that under the legendary Sourav Ganguly.
Claiming that Kohli hasn't backed any of his players, Kaif stated that the cricketers in the current team are in constant fear of losing out on their place in the team. He hit out at Shreyas Iyer's exclusion from the playing XI for the 1st T20I against Australia in particular.
"When we used to play with Dada, it was not like this. In Dada's time you knew that if he has picked one player, he will play him till the time he feels he will deliver. He backed the players a lot."
"This is the sort of thinking of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri and the players are also understanding that. The players also know that they will get just two innings, this is the sort of team it is."
"That is why Virat Kohli will have to think in the coming time to leave his legacy as a captain. Why we talk about Dada or why does Virender Sehwag talk about Dada? Because Dada has made that impact. Sourav Ganguly has backed us, he made a team."
The Delhi Capitals assistant coach added that Virat Kohli will never be considered a great captain unless he leaves behind a legacy by grooming players.
#2 Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli have rarely seen eye-to-eye, and the former Indian opener has been particularly vocal in his disapproval of the latter's leadership.
Speaking after India's loss in the 2nd ODI against Australia, Gambhir lashed out at Kohli using his premier strike bowlers in short spells. He stated that he can't understand the thinking behind the decisions, and questioned whether the 32-year-old is still in T20 mode.
"I can’t understand the captaincy to be honest. We kept talking about how important is to take wickets upfront if we have to stop this kind of batting line-up and then you make your premier bowler bowl two overs. Normally, in a One Day game probably there are three spells of 4-3-3 overs. Or probably the maximum is four overs."
"But if you stop your premier fast bowler just by bowling two overs upfront with the new ball, I can’t understand that kind of captaincy. It is not T20 cricket.”
Gambhir has also often questioned whether Virat Kohli is the right man to lead the Royal Challengers Bangalore given his lack of success at the helm of the Indian Premier League franchise.
#1 Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag is a light-hearted character, but he launched a shocking critique of Virat Kohli's captaincy after India's win in the 1st T20I against Australia.
Pointing out that Kohli isn't practicing what he preaches, the Nawab of Najafgarh asked why the Delhi batsman is never moved down the order or rested when he is out of form. Much like Kaif, Sehwag expressed disappointment at the non-inclusion of Shreyas Iyer in the playing XI.
"I will say one more thing, all the rules are applicable to everyone else other than Virat Kohli, no rule is applicable to him. Neither his batting order is changed nor is he left out or given a break when he is out of form. So, that is wrong."
Sehwag even stated that Virat Kohli wouldn't have become the player he now is were it not for former Indian captain MS Dhoni, and asked the current skipper to take a long look at himself and his decisions.