Australia’s batting legend Greg Chappell has heaped praise on Virat Kohli, saying that the best of Indian captain is yet to be witnessed by the cricketing fraternity.
During the 2014 England tour, Kohli had aggregated only 134 runs at a dismal average of 13.40 in five Test matches. However, he was determined to turn things around this time. The 29-year-old waged a lone battle in the first Test at Edgbaston, scoring a magnificent 149 in the first innings and followed it with a flawless 51 in the second dig.
Virat notched up his 23rd Test century during the Trent Bridge Test to help India register a thumping 203-run victory over England. Although India conceded the series 1-3 after losing the Southampton Test by 60 runs, Kohli continued his stunning form, amassing 544 runs at an average of 68 in eight innings thus far.
“I don’t know that there are many with more will to succeed than Virat. He has a real desire. Something’s driving him that is beyond what most people are capable of. I think we still haven’t seen the best of him. I think maybe not better to come, but more of the good to come. What he has done in England on this tour has been quite exceptional,” Chappell told CricketNext in an exclusive interview.
“He has probably exceeded what anyone would have expected. I think after (Sachin) Tendulkar, most people felt that’s the pinnacle but sport has a funny way of always throwing somebody up who can exceed what the champions of the past have done. Kohli as well as having great physical talent has the mental capacity and the emotional capacity to deal with what it takes to be successful in that really harsh environment,” he added.
India’s batting unit except for Kohli and partially Cheteshwar Pujara (241) have failed miserably in this series. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul have performed below par, scoring 158 and 113 runs respectively.
When asked to give a reason as why the majority of modern-day batsmen struggle against the moving ball, Chappell interestingly pointed out the weight of helmets restricting their movement and the bats in trend these days have changed the approach of batting.
“The bats, they have definitely changed. The thickness of the bats isn’t much heavier than the ones we used but the weight and the mass of the bat is spread very differently. So, you get better results with mishits than we used to do,” Chappell remarked.
“There are not the demands to get as close to the ball when the wickets are good and because of one-day cricket, the preparation of pitches for one-day cricket has had an impact on the Test pitches for a long period of time. Because the bats demanded that you hit the ball in the middle, players learnt to get closer to the ball, well forward and well back. They are things that have changed,” he explained.