Legendary West Indies batsman Sir Vivian Richards has credited Virat Kohli for changing the outlook of Indian cricket in terms of fierceness and competitive spirit.
"India were not like this years back (70's, 80's and 90's). But it's nice to have someone like Virat. I love it (aggression), why not? They now love to give it back. That's what cricket is all about. I love Virat's captaincy," Richards quoted as saying by PTI.
In the ongoing Test series Down Under, Kohli has copped criticism from Australian legends for his on-field behaviour. The likes of Allan Border, Mike Hussey and Mitchell Johnson have expressed their displeasure over Virat’s antics in the second Test at Perth. However, Richards finds nothing wrong in it.
"He competes hard. He expects results. A lot of people have said he's too aggressive... I don't think so. When you have a guy who can lead from the front, it can only rub off on the individuals who are following him. As you can see, the Indian team today is the team to beat in world cricket," he added.
While Kohli’s men won the first Test Down Under by 31 runs, they lost the second match by 146 runs. Talking about the eventual outcome of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Richards tipped the visitors as favourites.
"It's going to be a great series in Australia. Aussies have fought back well after India won the opening Test in Adelaide. Even though this Indian team are the number one, you should never underestimate Australia. They are fighters. With the series one-all now, it would be a very good one. But I would say India have the perfect chance to win a series in Australia under the aggressive captaincy of Kohli," Viv remarked.
"I remember the days when we came here for the first time in 1970s, they had the best spinners in the world. And now they have a great pace attack as well. I think that's the plus point," he further said.
For Richards, Sunil Gavaskar is the 'Godfather' of Indian batting as the legendary opener had to face the fearsome West Indies pace battery of 70's and early 80's.
"I would say this for sure that he's the godfather of Indian batsmanship. He is not playing anymore. He's still in my opinion what he would have achieved in the past would have passed down the mantle to Sachin and now we see Virat. India should be very proud to have so many talented people, who are up there in world cricket," Richards concluded.
(With PTI inputs)