Former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh reckoned that Virat Kohli will be under pressure as a batter and will have to ‘justify’ his selection now that he isn’t the captain of any team.
Harbhajan subtly hinted at the possibility of Kohli being dropped from the team if he continues his poor form – a dry patch that has seen him go over two years without scoring a century in international cricket.
“When a captain steps down after seven years, a lot of people feel surprised in and outside the team. I myself was very surprised that he perhaps made this decision in a hurry. But obviously, Virat knows what’s in his heart, what are his future plans, and what he wants to do in the future.“
“But when you are captain, things are different. As a batter, he’ll have a different pressure upon him. We all know he’s a big player but when you are captain you don’t have to worry about your selection. You are always selected,” Harbhajan told on his YouTube channel.
Hope his performance as a batter continues to be equally good – Harbhajan Singh
As a captain, Kohli has won matches for India single-handedly, especially in run chases. In 95 ODIs as captain, he has scored 5449 runs at an average of 72.65. Even though he has lost his captaincy, Harbhajan hoped to see the 33-year-old talisman continue playing with the same passion.
“But no matter how big a player you are – whether you are Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, (Sunil) Gavaskar, or anyone – you feel the pressure when you don’t perform. He’ll feel a pressure that wasn’t there for the past 7 years. But I also want to say that in these seven years he’s performed the best in world cricket as a captain. I hope his performance as a batter continues to be equally good and he keeps winning Team India matches as he did as a captain,” Harbhajan added.
Kohli scored 51 and 0 in the first two ODIs against South Africa. The third and final ODI will be played in Cape Town on Sunday.