It seems not everyone is impressed with Virat Kohli’s captaincy. The Indian Test captain has turned heads with the way he has managed his young turks ever since taking charge of the team. Unbeaten in the last 15 Tests, Kohli has won 11, drawn 6 and has lost only twice in the 19 Tests that he has captained so far. And his stature as a captain has only increased after he led his team from the front to a brilliant win over England in the second Test at Vizag. On a pitch that had a little help for spinners, he shuffled his bowlers cleverly to dismiss the visitors for only 158. However, former England skipper Nasser Hussain is far from impressed with the Indian captain.
In his column for the Daily Mail, Hussain called Kohli tactically naive and said he was surprised by Kohli’s defensive approach in the series so far.
He wrote:“It’s difficult for a captain to tick every box — and Virat Kohli ticks plenty of them. But, for such a wonderfully attacking player, I’m surprised by how defensive he’s been in the field so far in this series.
“He leads by example and wears his heart on his sleeve. I really enjoy the passion he shows out in the middle. But I’ve found him tactically quite naïve,” he added.
Criticising Kohli’s approach of deploying a fielder for Haseeb Hameed’s hook shot, Hussain wrote:“It was odd that when England began their second innings, Kohli began with a slip, a gully and two men on the hook for Haseeb Hameed, who almost never plays the hook shot — despite India having a lead of over 400.”
The retired cricketer also criticised the Indian skipper for encouraging his bowlers to bowl on in a single rather than targeting the stumps on a pitch that had uneven bounce. Hussain was also not very much impressed by Kohli’s idea of changing the field every now and then.
He wrote:“Kohli also changes his field virtually every ball, which is unsettling for his bowlers. If he’s constantly tinkering, it means they think they have to change their plans.”
But this pitch in Visakhapatnam hasn’t required anything too out-of-the-box: just hit the wicket, bowl straight, and something will eventually happen. He seems overly worried about runs, which is the modern way. But when the opposition are chasing 405 on a wearing pitch, he really needn’t be,” he added.
Advising the Indian skipper to keep his calm, Hussain wrote:” He seems to want to be the team’s ball-shiner, the guy who rouses the crowd, and the only one involved in the DRS process.
Look at the way Cook does it: he stays calm and isn’t afraid to use other people, even the juniors, as he showed when Hameed was sure he’d heard a nick from short leg when Stuart Broad got KL Rahul on the third evening.”