Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni are two polarising opposite cricketers but have secured unparalleled heights for India across formats. While Virat Kohli has developed into one of the best captains of the modern era, Gautam Gambhir believes MS Dhoni must get the credit for backing him as his successor. It was when MS Dhoni retired from Test cricket in 2014 after the Melbourne game that Kohli assumed the captaincy of India in whites.
India endured a disastrous tour of England the same year, having lost 3-1 to the hosts. The Delhi batsman was central to their batting capitulation in most of the matches and could manage only 134 runs at 13.40. Nevertheless, later that year, down under, Virat Kohli clobbered 692 runs against an attack comprising of Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood.
MS Dhoni backed Virat Kohli:
Even though India lost the four-match series by 2-1, under Kohli, the tourists showed the fighting spirit.
Fast forward to the present, The right-handed batsman is India’s most successful Test captain, having guided the nation to 33 victories in 55 fixtures as captain. As a batsman, he has 7240 runs in 86 Tests at 53.63 with 27 hundreds and currently occupy the second position in the ICC Test batting rankings.
But that 2014 series was very important for Virat Kohli: VVS Laxman
Former Test batsman VVS Laxman, in interaction with Virat Kohli, believes that the 2014 series in England, which turned out as a forgettable one was the turning point. The 45-year old lauded Virat Kohli’s comeback from a terrible outing to perform consistently for India across all the formats, maintaining exceptionally high standards for himself.
“But that 2014 series was very important. It was a miserable series. But to come back in such a fashion like the way he did in all the 3 formats, performing consistently and winning matches for India, maintaining high standards for himself is just incredible. He went to Australia and made those centuries and even in South Africa.” Laxman stated in the Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected.