Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee feels Kohli’s captaincy is quite similar to that of former Australia captain Ricky Ponting.
“Everyone’s got different styles of captaincy. If you see Ricky Ponting and Virat Kohli, you could say there are some similarities between their captaincy styles. They’ve got that raw aggression, but it’s not necessarily over the top,” Lee told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.
“There have been times where every captain’s gone over the top from every nation. But I’ve enjoyed watching Kohli’s captaincy. Because real passion comes through. He wants to do really well for the team,” Lee said.
With his on-field discipline and unparalleled dedication to fitness, the current India captain has led the team from the front and under Kohli, India have enjoyed a dominant run across formats.
He took the Test captaincy baton from Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 2014 and was handed the limited-overs duties in January 2017.
Kohli also became the first-ever Indian captain to lead India to a Test series victory against Australia in Australia. India registered a 2-1 win over the Tim Paine-led Australian team in 2018.
(Australia’s Test captain Tim Paine and Virat Kohli – Getty Images)
Lee, who played 76 Tests, 221 ODIs and 25 T20Is for Australia, played against Sourav Ganguly, Dhoni and Kohli in his career and spoke about the different captaincy styles of the three Indian stalwarts.
“I played against Dhoni and Ganguly. They are once again different captains. They’ve got a different, more of a laid-back style but effective. So, you don’t have to be a captain that’s aggressive. You don’t have to be laid back. You should do whatever works for you and whatever to get the best out of your players. But there are guys who are great team managers in terms of the way they manage their talent amongst the team. Because that’s all a captain is all about. The captain should be a good leader. People and players should look up to them and respect them and these guys (Ganguly, Dhoni, Kohli) have definitely got that,” Lee explained.
When it comes to batting, Virat does lead from the front. Since his international debut in 2008, Virat has already scored over 20,000 international runs, with 70 international centuries. He is also just 7 ODI tons away from breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s world record of 49 ODI centuries.
“Apart from his (Kohli) captaincy, he does well with the bat personally. He is the same as Ricky Ponting. He had that real powerful aggression but not too much. There’s a nice balance, I think. They are pretty similar when it comes to captaincy. And also, they’ve got a great ability to read the players. So, you think about Ponting the way he had set the fields, very attacking fields, I see the same In Kohli. Kohli is happy to attack,” the former Australian pacer who took over 700 international wickets told TimesofIndia.com.
‘WE DEFINITELY HAVEN’T SEEN THE END OF MS DHONI’
With the postponement of the T20 World Cup this year, the questions about MS Dhoni being able to make an international comeback have begun to swirl again.
Dhoni last played in India colours during the ICC World Cup 2019 semi-final against New Zealand. India were chasing 240 to win and enter the final. Dhoni scored 50 runs off 72 balls, but couldn’t to take the Men in Blue across the finish line.
(MS Dhoni – AP Photo)
India crashed out of the mega event after suffering an 18-run defeat against the Kiwis in Manchester.
Dhoni, who has played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs and 98 T20Is for the country so far, will be seen in action in the 13th edition of the IPL as the Chennai Super Kings captain when the tournament is played later this year in the UAE.
“I think there is definitely more to see of MS Dhoni. He still has so much to offer. He’s that cool character, he could be a captain again, he’s the guy that can be a great vice-captain. He doesn’t even need a captain. He’s just a great leader amongst the team. And everyone that knows Dhoni knows that he’s a wonderful guy, such a generous person,” Lee told TimesofIndia.com.
“I would say Dhoni is a fierce competitor. So, I think that we definitely haven’t seen the end of MS Dhoni, he still got more to offer,” Lee signed off.