Former Australian coach John Buchanan has heaped praise on Virat Kohli’s leadership skills by saying that the Indian captain instils greatness in the side even when he is not scoring runs. He also drew parallels between the captaincy styles of Kohli and former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly.
Virat Kohli became the first Asian captain to win a Test series Down Under when India beat the Aussies 2-1 in the 2018/19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Even though Chesteshwar Pujara was the Man of the Series with an aggregate of 521 runs from 7 innings, Buchanan, in an interview with Sportstar, credited the triumph to Virat Kohli’s captaincy.
“He [Virat Kohli] has done an incredibly good job – irrespective of whether he is scoring runs or not. If we go back to 2019, Pujara was the star of the series and Kohli made some contributions, so did [Ajinkya] Rahane...But Kohli’s real contribution is his leadership and captaincy and the way he instils greatness – not only to win games, but also in finding a way to beat teams,” Buchanan said.
John Buchanan, who also coached the Kolkata Knight Riders from 2008 to 2009, admitted that there are glimpses of Ganguly in Virat Kohli. He credited both of them for finding ways to win games against stronger oppositions.
“Once Sourav took over, he instilled a different way of not only playing, but also a different way of just conducting themselves against strong oppositions like Australia. It was a developing rivalry for sure, but Sourav was able to take it to another level. Like Ganguly, Kohli has done the same thing for the India team,” Buchanan reasoned.
‘It’s not only on the field, they will also be missing Virat Kohli off the field,’ says former Aussie coach
While India will be fighting to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Virat Kohli will return to India after the pink-ball Test in Adelaide to attend the birth of his child.
Kohli’s deputy Ajinkya Rahane is likely to take charge of the side. Buchanan feels that the Indian team will not only miss Virat Kohli on the field, but they will also miss his positivity while staying in a bio-secure bubble.
“I think his absence in the final three Tests is going to play a pivotal part in the way the series plays out... They are going to be inside a bubble for at least two months and I do believe that someone like Kohli is a very positive person, engaging person, who cares about his team very much off the field as well.
“Whoever replaces him - which is probably going to be Rahane - might be a good leader, but Kohli has something special about him. It’s not only on the field, but they will also be missing him off the field, because it's going to be a long tour,” Buchanan, who coached Australia from 1999 to 2007, concluded.
India will kickstart their tour with a 3-match ODI series starting November 27 followed by 3 T20Is, before heading on to the 2020/21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy. India’s 4-Test series against Australia begins in Adelaide on December 17.
Published 18 Nov 2020, 12:02 IST