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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

India vs South Africa: Who has had greater impact as Test captain, Virat Kohli or Ricky Ponting? VVS Laxman gives clear answer

Former India Test great VVS Laxman was asked the same question on Friday and the cricketer-turned-commentator did not shy away from making his pick.

cricket Updated: Oct 12, 2019 07:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring ton.
Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring ton.(PTI)

India captain Virat Kohli equalled Australia legend Ricky Ponting’s record for most Test hundreds as skipper, when he went on to register his 26th ton in the longest format against South Africa in Pune, his 19th as India captain. The right-handed batsman is now one hundred away from equalling Ponting’s record of most hundreds as captain across all formats. So, among the two, who has been a better captain in the Test format?

Former India Test great VVS Laxman was asked the same question on Friday and the cricketer-turned-commentator did not shy away from taking his pick. “I’d be a bit biased here, I’d go with Kohli,” Laxman said during lunch break on 2nd Day of the 2nd Test between India and South Africa on host broadcaster Star Sports.

India vs South Africa 2nd Test Day 2: Follow live score and updates

He further went on to explain his point, arguing that Ponting had a better team when he started off as Test captain, while Kohli had to build from the scratch.

“Ponting was handed a great team from Steve Waugh. They had match-winners from 1 to 11 in that side. There was Hayden, Langer, Ponting, Martin, Symonds, Gilchirst in the batting department. There was McGrath, Gillespie, Warne, Lee in the bowling unit. But that was not the case with Kohli. When Kohli took over from Dhoni, he had a young side,” Laxman said.

“The bowling unit, Shami, Bhuvneshwar, Ishant were still grooming. There was no Bumrah. So Kohli had to build up his team,” he added.

Also read: Virat Kohli surpasses Sunil Gavaskar, equals Ricky Ponting with century in Pune

India skipper Virat Kohli scored a brilliant hundred as he, along with his deputy Ajinkya Rahane, took the hosts to a commanding position on Day 2 of the second Test against South Africa on Friday. At lunch, India were sitting in the driver’s seat at 356/3 with Kohli and Rahane batting at 104 and 58, respectively.

Starting the day at 273/3, both the overnight batsmen played out the first hour rather cautiously as the Proteas pacers kept bowling on probing lines and tested the techniques of the Indians with the second new ball at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium.

First Published: Oct 11, 2019 12:53 IST

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