Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes that superstar Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s unrelenting desire and passion to win games for his country will be at the forefront when he leads his team in the Test series against England.
Virat Kohli will be back at the helm of the Indian team in the upcoming Test series against England after having missed out on the last three Tests in Australia due to paternity leave.
With Ajinkya Rahane leading India to a triumph for the ages in Australia, there has been a lot of talk in the media and pundits regarding Kohli handing over the captaincy reins to his deputy but Hussain believes that Virat still remains the head of the snake and even though he wasn’t physically present in Australia to guide the team during the eventual triumph, it is the culture that he has created in the dressing room during his five-year captaincy rein that proved to be the ultimate driving force behind the visitors shrugging off the set-back in Adelaide and turning the tables on Australia.
With all the talk around his captaincy, Nasser Hussain, who hailed Virat Kohli as a complete batsman, believes that the Indian superstar might have point or two to prove and, according to him, England should be wary of that.
“Just look at Kohli’s record in white-ball run-chases. All he sees is reaching that target and everything else — like his stats — are secondary,” wrote Nasser Hussain in the Daily Mail. “He is still a run-machine in Test cricket, too. Other than one bad tour of England in 2014, he’s the complete player and will be hungrier than ever after a rare rest. Kohli might have a point to prove, which makes him more dangerous than ever,” added Hussain.
Hussain pointed that Virat Kohli’s unrelenting desire to win games is visible even when he playing football with his teammates during the warm-ups.
“Even when he plays football with his side before a day’s play, Kohli has to be a winner. He could be excused for sitting it out and having a cup of tea because he has so much responsibility, but there he is throwing himself into two-footed tackles and celebrating more than any other player,” added Nasser Hussain.
‘Virat Kohli one day being replaced as captain is a possibility now’- Nasser Hussain
Hussain, however, believes that India’s triumph in Australia under Ajinkya Rahane had made what l0oked possible a couple of months ago that Virat Kohli- the Test captain-can be replaced.
He added that if England can somehow win the first Test in Chennai, it could lead to another round of debate in the country on whether Ajinkya Rahane is a better candidate to lead the team.
“What I would say is something that was unthinkable just a couple of months ago — Kohli one day being replaced as captain is a possibility now. And if the first Test in Chennai doesn’t go well for India — and that’s a massive ‘if’ — the whole country will be asking whether Rahane should have stayed in charge,” Hussain pointed out
The former England captain believes that England can take advantage of this if they somehow manage to win the first Test in Chennai.
“That’s why England must start well. If India bully them in this first Test and go 1-0 up, everything will be forgotten and Kohli will be the king again. But if Joe Root can put some doubt in India minds, then this series could suddenly become very interesting,” reckoned Nasser Hussain.
The first Test between India and England kickstart at the Chepauk from February 05- a venue where India are yet to drop a Test since that heartbreak against Pakistan in 1999.