Former Australian captain Greg Chappell has hailed Indian superstar Virat Kohli for his sustained aggression and intensity that he brings to a cricket field, besides adding that the latter is the most Australian non-Australian cricketer of all time.
Chappell said that while former captain Sourav Ganguly championed the cause as far as transforming the erstwhile passive Indian team into an aggressive side back in the early 2000s, Virat Kohli- a proponent of all-out aggression- has taken it to a completely different level as his sole motive is to get under the skin of the opposition and deflate them in pursuit of victory.
The former Indian coach said while previous sides from the country were deeply influenced with the ‘Gandhian principle’, Kohli is an embodiment of a new India; an unapologetic, no non-sense taking confident India.
”Many previous Indian cricket teams tended to play with undue deference to their opponents, as if in accord with the Gandhian principle. Sourav Ganguly was the first Indian captain to try to change that approach. It worked to a degree in India, but usually hit a hurdle overseas,” Greg Chappell wrote in ‘Sydney Morning
“Virat Kohli does not believe in passive resistance. He is a proponent of all-out aggression. His idea is to dominate the opposition,” he added.
“Kohli is the most Australian non-Australian cricketer of all time. He embodies the new India. As the premier player and captain of the world’s pre-eminent cricket power, he feels an abiding responsibility to the wider game.” he said.
‘He wants India to be respected in the most demanding format’- Greg Chappell on Virat Kohli
Greg Chappell further went on to thank the ‘most influential player in the game at the moment’ in Virat Kohli for championing the cause of Test cricket and treating it as the pinnacle of the game.
“The fact that Kohli champions Test cricket is a huge plus for a format under pressure for time and space in a crowded schedule. Test cricket has always been the pinnacle for him and it has driven him to be fitter and stronger to cope with its demands. It is why he drives his team in these areas because he wants India to be respected in the most demanding format,” Greg Chappell said.
“If the captain of India is ambivalent towards Test cricket, some administrators would be happy for it to slide into ignominy, as they are seduced by the newer, shinier models,” he said.
‘Virat Kohli is the most important cricketer in the context of world cricket’- Greg Chappell
The former Australian skipper further said that Virat is aware of status in world cricket but he is not consumed by it. He also lauded the Indian skipper for his heart-warming gesture towards Steve Smith when he asked the Indian fans to stop booing the latter during last years’ World Cup.
“Winning games for India is way more important to him and he sees it as his prime objective…he is aware of his status in the game and how he can impact others. His response to the Indian supporters who booed Steve Smith at The Oval during the 2019 World Cup was illuminating and heartening. The brash youngster had morphed into a senior statesman,” Chappell said.
Chappell signed off by hailing Virat Kohli as a tremendously influential cricketer and the most important one in the context of world cricket besides adding that it is a ‘shame’ that fans will not get to see the legendary cricketer for the best part of the Test series against Australia.
“Kohli, though, is the most important one in the context of world cricket. Kohli is tremendously influential. He is also under the most pressure. It cannot be underestimated how hard it must be to go out to bat with the hopes, aspirations and mood of a billion people, riding on your every performance,” he signed off.