Kapil Dev urges Virat Kohli to learn from MS Dhoni's captaincy qualities
Legendary Indian all-rounder Kapil Dev has urged current Indian Test captain Virat Kohli to learn from MS Dhoni’s qualities as he prepares to lead India for the one-off Test match against Bangladesh. Kohli took over as full-time Test captain following the latter’s decision to retire from the longer format of the game on the completion of the 3rd Test match against Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) late last year.
While the 56-year-old sees Kohli as the obvious candidate to take over the captaincy across all formats of the game, he feels that there are still a few question marks over Kohli as he needs to learn to control his emotions in order to thrive in the role.
"Kohli is very aggressive on the field and his emotions are very much visible on the screen whereas on the other hand you never know what's there in Dhoni's mind. Maturity is very, very important in cricket," the captain of the 1983 World Cup winning team said.
"Dhoni has made lot of mistakes, but over the period of time, you learn from those mistakes. I have made more mistakes than anybody else, but you learn. How quickly you can learn in captaincy and bring back your team is very important. Your own performance is not that important, your team's performance is very important and how as a captain you get the best out of everybody.”
Despite underlining the need for Kohli to mature as a captain, however, he also stated that each individual has his own personality and that we cannot expect Kohli to be a clone of Dhoni.
"Every captain is different and every individual has a different thought process. If you say everybody will be like Rahul Dravid, Harbhajan Singh or MS Dhoni, it's not going to happen."
The role of a captain is clearly of paramount importance in the game of cricket, but there can be a tendency for players to stop thinking for themselves and look towards the skipper for every minor issue instead of taking the onus on themselves. Kapil, having had tremendous experience both as a player and coach, warned against such a situation being the case.
"The captain is an important part of the team but that's not the only thing. I think the players are important as well. Sometimes you have to make sure your captain realises you are also there in the team and sometimes the captain has to see each and every corner of the team and say what best can we get out of the player", he signed off.