Former Indian cricketer Dilip Doshi lent his opinion to the debate surrounding Indian captain Virat Kohli's return to India the side’s defeat in the first Test against Australia at Adelaide. India lost the first Test by eight wickets, after registering their lowest-ever Test score of 36.
Comparing the side’s situation to a ‘sinking ship’, Doshi said that he would have given more importance to national duty if he were in Kohli's place. Kohli will play no part in the remainder of the India-Australia Test series as he returns home to be alongside his wife, Anushka Sharma, for their first child's birth.
“I know this is a modern phenomenon that people believe that they ought to be by the side of their family and spouses when they deliver a child. I understand all that. But when you are on a national duty… If I put myself in his shoes, I wouldn’t have gone. For me, national duty comes before everything else,” Doshi told Sportskeeda during an online interaction with journalist Indranil Basu.
BCCI couldn’t have prevented Virat Kohli from leaving: Dilip Doshi
However, Doshi said that it was more of an individual choice and the BCCI couldn’t have done anything to prevent Kohli from leaving.
“This is a highly individual and institutional approach. Legally, you cannot stop somebody doing that. The cricket board cannot have a rule saying the players cannot go and be on the side of their spouses for such an occasion. Personally, I wouldn’t have gone,” added Doshi, who remains one of the four bowlers (others being Clarrie Grimmett, Saeed Ajmal and Ryan Harris) with 100-plus Test wickets despite debuting after the age of 30.
Referring to India’s 36 all out, Doshi believes this is when Team India need their captain the most.
“To me, captaining India would be the prime-most thing on my mind. It’s a sinking ship. This is the time when they need their captain the most. If you leave at this time, you are leaving the side to your deputy with a lot of questions unanswered. I only hope and pray that the team shows enough character to come out of this,” Doshi further added.
Virat Kohli, the player will be missed more: Dilip Doshi
Virat Kohli has an enviable record in Australia. Scoring his maiden century at the Adelaide Oval in 2012, Kohli has played 13 Tests in Australia, amassing 1,352 runs at 53.14. He has registered six centuries in the country.
Virat Kohli is also India’s most successful Test captain with 33 wins from 56 Tests.
Citing Kohli’s exceptional record at the international level, Doshi emphasised that Virat Kohli’s batsmanship would be missed more than his captaincy.
“He’s an outstanding player. The team will miss him as a player more than as a captain. Him being at the crease gives a lot of confidence to other people,” said the 73-year-old.
Doshi represented India in 33 Tests and 15 ODIs between 1979 and 1983. He claimed 114 Test wickets and 22 ODI wickets at 30.71 and 23.81 respectively.Published 22 Dec 2020, 12:10 IST