Just two weeks back, many cricketers past and present were of the opinion that this team India led by Kohli was probably the best team right now in the world. Former Indian cricketers believed that this squad was perfect to secure a first test series win in South Africa after 25 years.
However, the plan did not work, as India succumbed to their 2nd defeat of the tour at Centurion and conceded the 3 match test series 2-0. The visitors are now staring at their first white-wash in some time and the opinion seems to have totally changed regarding Kohli and his captaincy skills.
Graeme Smith had criticised Virat Kohli’s captaincy
One man who has been pretty vocal in his criticism for Kohli is former South African captain Graeme Smith. However, Sourav Ganguly doesn’t share the opinion and believes that the Indian captain should be given more time before people start writing him off.
Speaking to India Today, Sourav Ganguly expressed his concerns regarding the change the in conditions from home to away. He said, “Tested? I’m not surprised because every international captain that goes away from home is tested. But I’m little disappointed with the way cricket has gone in the last two or three years. You go away and become a different team.”
Ganguly however, seemed disappointed with Smith’s comments about Virat Kohli. The former South African international was speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, when he questioned the credentials of Virat Kohli as a captain. Sourav Ganguly said,
“At the end of this year, he’d have been away from home for a while, the pressure he’ll face, the scrutiny from the press – I know he only gets that in India – but if you’re away from home and you’re struggling for form as a team, I don’t know if I’d want to burden Virat Kohli with that… Or if India have a better leader in that environment.”
Replying to the comments made by Graeme Smith, Sourav Ganguly gave a straight reply and said,
“With Graeme Smith, I’m not agreeable to that. It is his first overseas Test series as a captain. He is a young boy, not in terms of the number of Test matches he has played home or away, but in terms of the number of matches he has captained overseas. That is just two matches and I think it is a pretty harsh statement. He will get better for sure once he goes to England and then to Australia, he will learn.”
The former India captain concluded his point by saying, “If you see Virat as a cricketer, the player that he has evolved is because he has learned. He is passionate. I actually get surprised when I see him on field and I think how will he hold up that energy and go on and play as a batsman. But then he turns around and scores runs with the bat. So I honestly feel that it is too early a statement from Smith. Although he needs to do a certain things overseas which he will eventually learn with time.”