Legendary West Indies batsman, Viv Richards had high praise for Indian captain, Virat Kohli. He has been aggressive with his captaincy and Richards termed him as ‘exciting’.
Richards said, “What I know for sure is that he (Kohli) is an exciting player, and I remember in the past, the Indian team used to be very fragile in terms of when the sledging factor came into play, there were some fragileness attached to Indian team.”
Viv Richards also believes that former captain, Kapil Dev was the catalyst for change in the attitude of the Indian cricket team. “Kapil Dev created the avenue for India that you must be competitive.”
“The Indian players have become quite resilient. They do not back down quite easily these days”, added Richards.
These words represent how highly Kohli is regarded in international circles both as a batsman and as a captain. After his county stint with Surrey was cut short due to an unfortunate injury, Kohli will have to rely on the Indian practice pitches to prepare for the upcoming England tour.
The injury piled on an already difficult time for Kohli professionally as he could not steer Royal Challengers Bangalore to the IPL playoffs despite some good performances by the team towards the end of the tournament. They were heavily reliant on the likes of Kohli, de Villiers and de Kock.
Unfortunately, none of them clicked together at the same time and RCB were knocked out without a stiff fight in the end. The 29-year old can take encouragement from the statements made by Richards to pick himself up and deliver the best possible performance in tough English conditions.
The tour will also be a perfect time to test the Indian XI’s capability of performing on English pitches as the World Cup will be held on those shores in 2019.