Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar said skipper Virat Kohli is born to lead India and hoped he will live up to the expectations of the fans.
“He (Kohli) was born to lead. He led the under-19 team, and even as a player he was looking to learn from others. That is the big plus about Kohli that he learning. He makes mistakes, all of us make mistakes. But there is so much optimism with him becoming the captain, something which scares you. There is so much of expectations from the young man, it is sometimes scary but he will be upto it,” Gavaskar said.
Kohli on Thursday scored 103 runs and shared a match defining 227 runs third wicket partnership with opener Shikhar Dhawan (134) which helped India to take substantial 192 run lead in the first innings of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle.
Gavaskar also said that Sri Lanka will no be able to defend the Test. “I don’t think they will be able to recover. They might be able to save an innings defeat if they bat well and get a few partnership. Otherwise, I don’t think they will be able to save the game. Only the weather can come to their rescue or else I think India is going to win with plenty of time to spare,” Gavaskar told PTI.
When asked about Kohli’s ploy to open bowling with spinners R Ashwin, Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh, Gavaskar said: “It was top class thinking.
Gavaskar mentioned one of the Kohli’s move at the field, “I thought the way Ashwin was bowling, this is what he would try, Ishant at one end and Ashwin at other end. But with only four overs to go, he went with the spinners because in case it didn’t work, the ball with still be hard enough for the new ball bowlers today.
“I think it is a tremendous move. Yesterday he might have missed a chip but that is the beauty of Virat Kohli, he keeps learning all the time,” he told NDTV. Asked if Sri Lanka missed their skipper Angelo Matthews, who could not turn up to bowl as he had flu, Gavaskar said: “Yes, absolutely. When you lose your skipper, you lose
“When the main man is not there, it does affect the team. Because they seemed bereft of ideas when Dhawan and Kohli were batting. But by the way Kohli and Dhawan were batting, I don’t think even his presence would have mattered,” said the former captain.