‘He has that aura’: Irfan Pathan explains why Virat Kohli is ‘very similar to Sourav Ganguly’

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Irfan Pathan, Sourav Ganguly, Virat Kohli (Image Source: Twitter)

There’s always an extra burden on the shoulders of a new captain as he is continuously scrutinised and compared to his predecessors.


Indian captain Virat Kohli’s leadership ability often draws comparisons to some of the finest captains to have led their side. In a more local context, fans and experts find too many similarities between Virat Kohli and Sourav Ganguly, who led the team in the early 2000s.

If Ganguly instilled the sense of aggression, winning mentality and hostility in the squad, Kohli ensured that such values don’t fade away under his tenure.


The India captain leads a team which dominates the game across all formats and continents. However, for many, the substructure of such dominance was laid by none other than Ganguly himself.

Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan, who made his debut under Ganguly, believes Kohli is pretty similar to Ganguly when it comes to backing the youngsters in the team.

“He (Virat Kohli) is very similar to Sourav Ganguly as well. A guy who backs his youngsters really, really well,” Irfan said on the latest episode Cricket Connected show premiered on Star Sports.


“Virat Kohli has that aura about him that he goes out of his way to back the youngsters.”

“We have seen that with Rishabh Pant, we have seen the press conferences, he goes to and says, ‘No, we need to back a guy like Rishabh Pant purely on his potential’,” Pathan added.

Meanwhile, the former Indian all-rounder also highlighted what the young cricketers need to do to bridge the gap between U19 cricket and senior cricket.


“We have seen so many U-19 India players who vanish after playing the U-19 World Cup. They don’t end up fulfilling their potential at the international level which they might have. Also, we have so many cricketers playing the U-19 World Cup and then going on to play for India,” remarked the 35-years-old.

“In between, there is a bridge which is first-class cricket. I think we need to make sure that you have the right mentality to reach at the bigger level, at the same time, making your game bigger, I think that’s the biggest challenge any cricketer faces who plays U-19,” concluded Pathan.


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About the Author:
Ravi is a 21-year old writer whose love for cricket and any other sports knows no bounds. He is a highly opinionated person who watches cricket through the lens of conflict and struggles. He also believes that the true essence of enjoying cricket or any other sports is when we rise beyond territorial politics. You can write to him at ravi.raj@crickettimes.com or islesofraviraj@gmail.com and follow him on Linkedin.