Sir Viv Richards is one of the many who have seen Indian cricket’s remarkable rise in the game. And when one talks about the rise, it is not essentially about the level of cricket but also the team’s attitude. In the last millennium, the Indian players used to look more than happy to stay quiet after being targeted verbally by an opposition player.
However, the trend changed from the early 2000s. Led by the mercurial Sourav Ganguly, the Indian players learned about how to give it back to verbal opponents. And it would be safe to say that the trend has reached its zenith under current skipper Virat Kohli. The 30-year old, who wears his heart on his sleeves, loves to get verbal on the field and his attitude make him one of the most interesting characters in the game.
But then one cannot make everyone happy and Kohli is not an exception other. Kohli’s aggressive antics have come under scrutiny on several occasions. Recently, he faced the wrath from the cricketing fraternity for his antics in the second Test against Australia. The India star had targeted his Australian Tim Paine with his verbal volleys. But unlike many, Sir Viv Richard is impressed with Kohli as well as India’s aggressive attitude.
Crediting Kohli for infusing positive attitude in the team, Richards said he loves the aggression.
“India were not like this years back (70’s, 80’s and 90’s). But it’s nice to have someone like Virat. I love it (aggression), why not? They now love to give it back. That’s what cricket is all about. I love Virat’s captaincy,” Richards said during a promotional event.
While there has been criticism for Kohli’s aggressive brand of captaincy, Richards finds nothing wrong.
“He competes hard. He expects results. A lot of people have said he’s too aggressive… I don’t think so. When you have a guy who can lead from the front, it can only rub off on the individuals who are following him. As you can see, the Indian team today is the team to beat in world cricket.”
Richards also spoke on the ongoing Test series in Australia, saying that India have the best chance to beat Australia for the first time.
“It’s going to be a great series in Australia. Aussies have fought back well after India won the opening Test in Adelaide. Even though this Indian team are the number one, you should never underestimate Australia. They are fighters.
“With the series one-all now, it would be a very good one. But I would say India have the perfect chance to win a series in Australia under the aggressive captaincy of Kohli.”
The third Test of the series starts from December 26 and will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.