Dhoni and Rohit make Kohli look good as captain, says Gambhir - GulfToday

Dhoni and Rohit make Kohli look good as captain, says Gambhir


India’s captain Virat Kohli kicks a football during a practice session. Associated Press

Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has taken a dig at Virat Kohli, saying the incumbent skipper is able to efficiently lead Team India because he has the likes of MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma in the squad.

“Kohli was very good in the last World Cup but he has a long way to go. He captains so well in international cricket because he has got Rohit Sharma, he had MS Dhoni for a long time,” Gambhir told reporters during an event on Thursday.

“Captaincy credentials are noticed when you are leading a franchise, when you do not have other players supporting you,” he added.

Kohli, who is India’s batting mainstay in all the three formats of the game, is counted among one of the most successful captains to have led the national team. However, his record in Indian Premier League (IPL) hasn’t been great as he has not been able to clinch the title for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

“I have been honest whenever I have spoken about this. See what Rohit Sharma has achieved for Mumbai Indians, see what Dhoni has achieved for Chennai Super Kings. If you compare that with RCB, the results are there for everyone to see”, said Gambhir.

The 37-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker also spoke about Rohit and said that the 32-year-old batsman is too good a player to be sitting on the bench and should be opening the innings in Test matches as well.

“I think K.L. Rahul has been given a longer run. It is time for Rohit Sharma to open the batting in Test cricket,” said Gambhir.

“If you pick him in the squad, he has to be a part of the playing XI. If he does not fit your playing XI, no point in picking him in the squad of 15 or 16. He is too good a player to be sitting on the bench,” he added.

India have excluded Rahul for the upcoming Test series against South Africa and will have Rohit open the innings in the three-match rubber beginning Oct.2.

Meanwhile, National Cricket Academy (NCA) head Rahul Dravid was in attendance on Friday as the Indian players had an optional training session at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

The Indian team after winning the second T20I against South Africa in Mohali reached the Garden City on Thursday and some of the players hit the ground to fine tune their skills under the watchful eyes of head coach Ravi Shastri.

Taking to Twitter, BCCI posted a photo of the two stalwarts meeting at the stadium and wrote: “When two greats of Indian Cricket meet.”

With the first game in Dharamsala washed out, the Indians came out all guns blazing in the second game and with skipper Kohli leading from the front, the Men in Blue thrashed the Proteas by 7 wickets.

Speaking after the game, Kohli praised the youngsters for the comprehensive win and said: “When you play like that and win a game for your team, it is always a good feeling. The pitch was very good and an outstanding effort from the bowlers to pull things back. As long as they (youngsters) show character in difficult situations, they are going to present a strong case for themselves in the future.”

Chairman of selectors M.S.K. Prasad has said that they are keeping an eye on the likes of Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson and a few others as backup wicket-keepers to take the workload off Rishabh Pant. Pant, who is now India’s main stumper keeping in mind Dhoni’s break from international cricket, has failed to score runs, but Prasad feels that one needs to be patient with someone as talented as Pant.

“I have already said that post World Cup we have been concentrating on the progress of Rishabh. We need to be patient with him, considering the immense talent that he possesses,” Prasad told the Indian Express.


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