Former India opener Gautam Gambhir recently fires shots at current India skipper Virat Kohli saying that the latter has won nothing as a leader and has a lot to achieve as captain. Not only Gambhir, but a lot of Indian cricket fans also believe that in order to prove his leadership worth, Kohli has to win at least a single ICC event.
In 2017, Kohli guided ‘Men in Blue’ to the finals of 2017 Champions Trophy but lost the game against Pakistan. Then the Kohli-led side met New Zealand in the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup but lost again. Despite not being able to win a big tournament, Kohli’s teammates have been impressed by his captaincy skills and especially the aggression which the Delhi-born shows on the field.
Speaking about the same, India’s frontline Test spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, recalled two times when Kohli amazed him with his captaincy.
“Virat is very different when he gives you certain suggestions. We were on the first away tour with Virat as the captain in Sri Lanka. I was going through an unbelievable spell at Galle – where whatever I dreamt of, was happening. The drift of the ball was controlled, it was landing where I wanted it to land, the arm ball was falling like a dream and every time the batsman edged, it was going to the fielder,” Ashwin told Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz.
Ashwin said how one move of Kohli left a strong impression on him.
“During the spell, Jehan Mubarak walked to the crease. There was a point, a cover, an extra cover, a mid-off, a mid-on, and a square leg in place – that makes it six, slip gully and silly point, which is natural. Virat picked out the extra man at covers and put it at leg slip. He then told me to bowl a carom ball as the cover was open, and there were no fielders there,” said Ashwin.
Ashwin also spoke about how he got Jehan Mubarak out simply by the confidence Kohli showed in him.
“I told him, Virat, a left-hander is batting, and we have no covers? He asked me to bowl and not to worry about being hit for a boundary. You won’t believe, I bowled the next ball, it straightened, and Jehan Mubarak hit it straight to short leg,” added the off-spinner.
Ashwin then shared the second instance, which happened in early 2020 when Team India was in New Zealand.
“On the tour of New Zealand, the ball wasn’t spinning a lot, and Henry Nicholls was on strike. I went over the stumps and wanted him to move into the line so that I can challenge his pads and then go around the wicket again. After bowling over the stumps, I moved around the stumps, and it was not spinning at all, and the batsman was playing at ease,” Ashwin revealed.
The Tamil Nadu bowler stated that Kohli yet again came up with an interesting move which left him clueless therefore he asked the skipper about it. Ashwin said that Kohli brought the theory of a batsman which eventually worked.
“Virat removed the covers and put him at gully. And Nicholls nicked it straight to gully. I asked him – why didn’t you remove midwicket and put it at gully, why did you remove covers and put it at gully?” said Ashwin.
“He said – no the ball is not predominantly spinning, so the chance of the ball going towards midwicket is higher and if he looked to cut the ball he might get bowled. I wouldn’t have bought that theory but he is bringing a batsman’s theory to it,” the Chennai-born added.