Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has heaped praises on current India Test skipper Virat Kohli for changing the entire dynamics of Indian cricket.
Harbhajan reckoned that before Kohli’s captaincy, the thought process of Indian teams was to draw the Test series in overseas tours. Bhajji felt that Indian teams started clinching series under Kohli in overseas tours as he introduced a winning mentality that changed Indian cricket.
“Virat’s temperament totally suits the Indian setup. We need players like this to take the team forward, and Virat Kohli did that. Earlier, when the team would go to Australia, we would think about saving the Test series. Under Virat’s captaincy, there has been a change where we think about how do we go and win the Test series in Australia”, said Harbhajan as quoted by NDTV.
Harbhajan cited the example from the Adelaide Test during the India tour of Australia in 2014 when Kohli had smashed 141 in the second innings but couldn’t stop the Aussies from taking the win. Bhajji revealed that when Kohli returned to the pavilion, he had asked him that India could’ve ended the match in a draw, to which the Delhi-lad replied that drawn Tests had no importance to him.
“I remember in one of those series, where he had scored a lot of runs, although India had lost the Test series. In that match, India had to chase some 400 runs, and Kohli had scored a big century. So, when he returned to the pavilion, I told him that the match could have ended in a draw, but he replied that ‘there is no importance of a drawn Test, either you win, or you lose, and the day we learn to fight, we will learn to win and someday we will”, Bhajji added.
Harbhajan, who recently retired from all forms of the game, also claimed that had Kohli been soft like MS Dhoni, the 33-year-old would not have scored the number of runs he has in his glorious career.
“And that is the change you have noticed in this Indian side. They went to Australia and beat them twice, they played well in England, and I hope they beat South Africa in this series, although this South African side isn’t that great. So, Kohli has perfectly played his role as a leader. And his aggressive approach has made Virat Kohli the player he is today. If Virat Kohli was soft like MS Dhoni, I don’t think he would have scored so many runs,” Harbhajan added further.