Ryan Sidebottom
Ryan Sidebottom. Image-Reuters

Former England pacer Ryan Sidebottom has heaped high praises on India‘s “very clever” and “fantastic” captain, Virat Kohli, ahead of the Super 12 stage of the ongoing T20 World Cup in UAE.

Kohli will lead India for the first time in a T20 World Cup; this will also be his last tournament as a T20I skipper, he has announced this decision earlier.

Ryan Sidebottom reckons Kohli as a skipper is a respected figure in the Indian dressing room. The former seamer observed that Kohli is a “very game-oriented” captain who can adapt to different situations with his tactics.

Virat Kohli, Steve Smith.
Virat Kohli, Steve Smith. Image-Twitter

“He’s (Virat) a type of captain who is very respected within the group of players he has got. You can see he still has that (drive) – I want to do well. You can see the team spirit within the camp. So he’s a very good captain. India have always had some really good captains. Kohli is very clever and very game-oriented. He’s fantastic,” Ryan Sidebottom told Times of India.

When asked about comparisons between MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli, Ryan Sidebottom said, India have had different types of captains over the years, and Kohli brings his own qualities to the table.

“They all are different types of characters. But Kohli has passion. He has a huge following of Indian fans. He certainly drives this team. His team selection has been great. He’s just an outstanding player and an amazing character,” he added.

India are so strong: Ryan Sidebottom

Ryan Sidebottom, who was part of England’s 2010 T20 World Cup winning side, feels that India are a strong contender to lift the trophy this year. However, he added that the Asian giants will be under huge pressure considering their billion-plus fans keenly watching them.

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Indian cricket team. (Photo: Twitter)

“India will be under pressure. You have billions of fans watching and want India to do well. So, if they handle the pressure, which they’ve done on many occasions, India are so strong. I think it’s going to be a really good competition,” the 43-year-old opined.

India will take on Pakistan in their opening encounter on October 24 in Dubai. They will then meet New Zealand, Afghanistan, and two other teams who will qualify from Round 1 in the Super 12 stage.

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