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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Gautam Gambhir explains what separates captain Kohli from Dhoni, Ganguly and Dravid

Praising Virat Kohli for his fearless captaincy, Gautam Gambhir explained how the former’s leadership skills are different from that of MS Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly’s. Kohli on Sunday led India to a massive victory over South Africa by an innings and 137 runs.

cricket Updated: Oct 16, 2019 08:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Pune
Gautam Gambhir (L) and Virat Kohli (R)
Gautam Gambhir (L) and Virat Kohli (R)(HT Collage)
         

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir said that the Indian captain Virat Kohli’s fearless attitude and mindset to go for Test victories even on foreign conditions separates him from other Indian captains MS Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. Kohli on Sunday led India to a massive victory over South Africa by an innings and 137 runs. This was India’s 11th straight series win at home, which is a world record, bettering that of Australia’s (10). Out of those 11 series wins at home, 9 came under Kohli’s leadership. Virat Kohli is yet to lose a Test series at home, since taking over as India captain from MS Dhoni in 2014-15.

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Gambhir attributed Kohli’s success to his lack of fear. Gambhir termed that as Kohli’s biggest plus. “If you are scared of losing, you will never win and probably that’s the biggest plus he has, he isn’t scared of losing,” Gambhir said to official broadcasters Star Sports after the second Test match at Pune.

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Since Kohli took over the Test captaincy in 2014, India have lost only two series. One was in their 2017/18 tour of South Africa, while the other came in England in 2018. This year, they have won series in Australia and the West Indies.

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This was Kohli’s 13th series victory as captain overall, which is the most by an Indian captain. He went past MS Dhoni’s tally of 12 series wins.

“We talk about Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni, but what Virat has created, India has started winning overseas as well,” said Gambhir.

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“He’s taken that risk, which a lot of other captains have not been able to take. The others always wanted an extra batter so that he they don’t lose the test match. Whereas, Virat is the only captain who has gone abroad and played with five bowlers, with Hardik Pandya being an all-rounder.

Gambhir gave the example of the last Test match in India’s tour of South Africa which the former won on a treacherous pitch at the Wanderers. “There was Hardik Pandya and four other fast bowlers. He has taken that gamble and he has succeeded,” he said.