Former South Africa skipper Kepler Wessels believes that Virat Kohli’s "aggressive and positive" attitude has rubbed off on the entire Indian team. The broadcaster has backed AB de Villiers' two-year Test cricket sabbatical and stated that he has done enough to take that decision on his own.
Virat Kohli has led the team by example – starting with scoring runs at will to making fitness as a prime regime in the team to playing the game on the edge - with passion and his not-giving-an-inch attitude. His passion has rubbed on the team as well and results have come pouring in, with India’s nine consecutive Test series wins are a testimony to the same. The Indian team fought back after being 92/7 in the first innings and ended up with 208. The bowlers then restricted the South Africans to a mere 130 to place themselves in a position to win the first Test in Cape Town and break their frustrating overseas hoodoo. Crediting India’s success to Kohli’s leadership, Wessels stated his amazing leadership attitude has been entirely translated into the team.
“Virat is aggressive, he’s positive and that has rubbed off on the team. Obviously, Virat likes leading from the front… He injects that high dose of self-belief as well,” Wessels told the Telegraph.
An out of form Ajinkya Rahane, despite his good showing in the last Test series in the Rainbow nation, failed to make the cut for the first Test and his fellow Mumbaikar Rohit Sharma was picked ahead of him. However, that decision was met with a lot of criticism after Rohit’s failure and India’s recent struggles at the slip cordon.
Expressing surprise at India’s decision to leave out the Test vice-captain, Wessels said, “Look, I haven’t followed things too closely, but if you’re the vice-captain like Rahane is, you’re expected to feature in the XI… Maybe, they shouldn’t have named him the vice-captain. I must add that I quite like Rahane’s batting.”
Ahead of the South Africa-India series, de Villiers brought an end to his sabbatical from Test cricket and returned to lead the side against Zimbabwe in the first ever four-day Test due to the absence of regular skipper Faf du Plessis. However, his decision to stay away from red-ball cricket was not taken well by the fans, but the Supersport broadcaster threw his weight behind the talisman.
“As a South African, I would have liked AB to play, but he’d reached a point where he needed a break. The 2015 World Cup campaign, where AB was the captain, took its toll… He has a young family… A few things just added up.”