This statement from Gilcrist a legend himself might come as a shocker after the recent series victories on Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand. The current form of Virat Kohli has also been magnificent scoring as many as 2000 runs in 2017 alone. He recently equalled Ponting’s record of 32 ODI centuries. The performance of other team members was also exceptional in the victories. His style of aggressive cricket is now promoted as a brand and the recent victories will only increase its value. He has always been outspoken on and off the field answering every challenge thrown at him by scoring centuries and giving back words. He has never been shy of giving it back, to even Australians at their home.Players recall how not to poke Kohli, because he just scores more when provoked.
Gilcrist said “If I were in his team, I wouldn’t be identical to him on the field. You have got to do whatever comes naturally to you and what you believe in. It doesn’t mean every player who doesn’t act like Virat questions him,” he rightly explains how important it is for a player to be in his own state of mind and not to fall prey for false bravado to be on par with the captain. This is really important in longer formats like Test cricket where concetration is very important. But if a player like Rahane who is usually calm, tries to be aggressive it breaks his rhythm which we have seen on a few occasions.
His style of play and training is also very different to traditional methods where coach decides what to do. The decision to remove Kumble as coach due to difference with captain asks for another discussion of his methods. Kumble is known for a disciplined lifestyle and coaching methods. The team at present is captain centric and all the decisions are taken visibly by the captain and this sets a dangerous precedent in the team to replicate the captain in work and play. This is fine until Kohli is in form of his life as others will also perform because the captain demands. But he will lose the confidence of the team members if he out of form.
Gilcrist also applauds the current form of Kohli. He said “I think every batting statistic is in danger across all formats. It’s extraordinary. He is a world-class batsman. Even if he doesn’t break all the batting records, he will certainly get close to all of them.” Which we hope will be true given his recent form.
Article by Aravind.