Mike Brearley thinks that Virat Kohli’s tendency to chop and change players, which has brought him a lot of criticism of late, might have come from T20 cricket. Heaping praise on Kohli, the former England skipper also claimed that he was never close to being the captain that Kohli is proving to be.
India’s decision to bring in Ishant Sharma to replace an in-form Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the second Test of the Test series, had brought the Indian skipper severe criticism. Kohli has captained the Indian side in 35 matches but has never played the same eleven in back-to-back matches. The decision of resting his star bowler in the Centurian Test backfired as many expected and India ended up conceding the three-match Test series in the first two games itself.
Former English captain Mike Brearley, who was present at NCPA to launch his book ‘On Form’, said that this propensity might have come from playing too much T20 cricket, where one has to constantly change team strategies.
"I find it extraordinary and probably because it has to do with some unsettling in the team when you have too many changes. Of course, it could be too gratifying or too complacent to the team to have
“You have to come and bowl one over and then you're taken off. You have to bowl an over of wide yorkers, then have to bowl an over of good length. You have to be very flexible and quick to adjust," felt the 75-year-old, reported TOI.
The Englishman also revealed that he has been a fan of Kohli and is immensely impressed by his captaincy skills. Calling him one of the finest captains of all time, he also stated that Kohli’s animated gestures on dismissals and
"I haven't been close enough to (Virat) Kohli but I admire him enormously, he has given the team pride and aggression. He is always attentive, keen-eyed, he is a wonderful batsman and he is shrewd. I haven't seen enough of it [celebrations]. He's very passionate. You can't have passion without disappointment," he said.
However, it didn’t stop Brearley from criticizing the skipper as he agreed to many of Kohli’s critics, who believe that the 29-year-old needs people in the dressing room who could stand up to him and question his decisions.
“A leader of a country should be kept in check. He needs to have people he listens to and people who tell him where he's getting things wrong. (John F) Kennedy (former US President) used to have a group of people whose job was to criticise his policies, that seems to be very healthy," Brearley opined.