NewDelhi: Every day brings in some sort of criticism for India captain Virat Kohli. Now it’s former South Africa captain Graeme Smith’s turn to take a dig at him, especially his captaincy credentials.
The Indian team is currently under fire after losing back-to-back Tests against South Africa, with Kohli angering many with his excessive chopping and changing.
He also distastefully confronted the umpires during the second Test in Centurion, after which he was fined 25% of his match fee. And then to make matters worse, he embroiled himself in an altercation with journalists in the post-match press conference.
“I don’t know, when I look at him, if he is a long-term captaincy option for India.
“You can be the best player in the world, and you love that intensity and you often don’t think what your team-mates are going through,” Smith said at a breakfast event organised by South African television network SuperSport..
Smith, one of the longest-serving captains in the history of the game, also suggested a solution to help the Indian captain improve. “I think if he had a really constructive person in his environment, who could talk to him, make him think, maybe even challenge him with some different ideas, in a constructive way, not an angry or aggressive way, but make him think, open his eyes to other possibilities, that would make him a really good leader,” he said.
The 36-year-old said Kohli needed to keep his temperament in check, especially when he is leading the team on the field. “Sometimes as a leader you’ve got to consider how you impact the others in the environment, that’s an area of his leadership that he needs to grow. You can see, he’s often at his players. He’s very aware.
“[But] often his reaction to situations… I think that can sometimes impact your team negatively. We all know how powerful Virat Kohli is in world cricket, in Indian cricket. For him, he’s built this aura and for him maybe to find a level where he can connect with all his players, to get to a level where can get the Indian team to be as successful as he is, that’s something that he, when I watch him, is grappling with,” he said.
The third and final Test starts at Johannesburg’s New Wanderers Stadium on Wednesday.