The positive changes in Virat Kohli's captaincy which helped India succeed
Indian captain Virat Kohli did a splendid job in the tours of South Africa and England, in fact, he was the only batsman in the Indian team who scored consistently during these two series. Though Kohli did a great job as a batsman, the same could not have been said about his captaincy. His captaincy left a lot to be desired during these two tours.
During the Australian Test series, Kohli's fortune took a U-turn, he had a relatively average series as a batsman but he did a splendid job as a leader. Let us take a look at the positive changes in Kohli's captaincy which helped India to win the Australian Test series and re-write the history.
During the South African and English series, Kohli did not show enough courage to give opportunities to youngsters. In spite of repeated failures of senior players like Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, and KL Rahul, Kohli persisted with them. This resulted in a weak top order and a fragile middle order, which costed India dearly.
This time around, Kohli finally found the courage to pick youngsters like Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant. Not only these players were picked but they were persisted with throughout the series. Though Shaw could not play the series due to injury he is expected to play an important part for Indian Test team in future.
The success of Agarwal and Pant once again proved that it is very important to invest in youngsters as they bring a positive and fearless attitude to the team.
Kohli was a much superior captain tactic wise during the Australian tour in comparison to South African and English series, which showed that he has grown as a captain and he is thinking on his feet.
There were few occasions during the series when Kohli's field changes were spot on and eventually resulted in a wicket. Aaron Finch's dismissal during the first innings of the third Test and Marnus Labuschagne's dismissal during the first innings of the fourth Test were few examples where Kohli's field placements had equal contribution in getting the batsman out.
Kohli's team selections were also consistent this time around. Ajinkya Rahane was dropped during the first two Tests in South Africa and Cheteshwar Pujara was dropped during the first Test during the English series, these two were prime examples of non-enterprising selection decisions on Kohli's part.
During the Australian series, the selection was much more consistent and stable which eventually helped India in winning their first-ever series in Australia.
Thus, Kohli's will to always work on each aspect of the game worked wonders. While his batting contribution was somehow restrained, he more than compensated for it by leading his bunch of skilled cricketers as a unit, making them a true force to be reckoned with in the years to come.