Virat Kohli was an exception as captain: Ian Chappell

Tags: India, Australia, Virat Kohli, Ian Michael Chappell

Published on: Jan 31, 2022

Former Australia skipper Ian Chappell has heaped high praise on Virat Kohli, whose stint as India’s captain ended following the team’s 1-2 loss to South Africa in the Test series. Chappell described Kohli as an exception as captain, who had a lot of energy as leader and yet did not let his enthusiasm cloud his job. The Aussie legend also opined that Kohli built on the legacy of Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni and has taken Indian cricket to greater heights.

In his column for ESPN Cricinfo, Chappell wrote about Kohli, "When Kohli took over after the successful reign of MS Dhoni, there was one major concern: would his boundless enthusiasm cloud his judgment as a leader? There's no doubt Kohli was an exception as captain; he didn't curb his enthusiasm but he was still able to lead the Indian team to a higher level. With the capable assistance of vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, he lifted India to overseas success as no other captain had done.”

The 78-year-old described Australia in 2018-19 and England in 2021 as Kohli’s two personal major overseas successes. He also pointed out to India’s spectacular home record in Tests. Chappell wrote:

“At home, his side was virtually unbeatable, with only a loss apiece to Australia and England in 31 Tests. Kohli took the legacy of Sourav Ganguly and Dhoni and substantially built on it in seven years at the helm. His biggest disappointment as captain was the recent series loss to South Africa after India led the away series 1-0, though he didn't captain in the middle Test of that series, in Cape Town.”

According to Chappell, one of Kohli's great achievements was instilling in his team craving for Test cricket. He stated that, despite his all-encompassing success, Kohli's major aim was to achieve victory in the Test arena, which is where his passion really shone. The former Aussie captain continued, “There is no doubt that Kohli drove his men hard but it's also apparent they enjoyed competing and wanted success. Kohli has a number of individual achievements in his resume, none bigger than the development of Rishabh Pant as a wicketkeeper and batter.”

Despite failing to win a Test series in South Africa in two attempts, Kohli ended his stint as India’s most successful Test captain. He led India in 40 wins out of 68 matches. He also registered a record seven double-centuries in Tests as captain.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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