Former opener Gautam Gambhir heaped effusive praise on India skipper Virat Kohli for demoting himself to No.4 in order to squeeze in in-form KL Rahul into the playing XI for the first ODI versus Australia in Mumbai on Tuesday (January 14) despite regular top-order batsman Shikhar Dhawan's comeback.
And while Kohli failed in the team's humbling defeat, Gambhir sees long-term benefits of the move to the Indian team with a strengthened batting line-up.
"I have heard that in the film industry some stars are conscious of how much airtime they are getting in a film, if they have got the most juicy-punchy lines, - who is featuring in the promo/trailer etc. Insecurity? Competition? Market forces? I am not sure what to call this. I am not even sure if these are facts or grapevine mills going berserk. But I can tell you how insecurity impacts my profession," the cricketer turned commentator wrote in his column for the Times of India.
"I have come across a few cases where batsmen have been reluctant to leave their batting slots. This is largely done to safeguard their own interests rather than looking at the overall well-being of the team," Gambhir added. "These batsmen guard their position in the batting order so fiercely that at times they have even risked getting dropped."
"Given this background, I think captain Virat Kohli should be applauded for batting at number four in Mumbai against Australia to accommodate Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul."
Gambhir believes Kohli is not only aiding this Indian team's balance but also creating a legacy where young players will learn to be selfless from him.
"Besides, Kohli is also making a subtle statement as a leader. He is trying to build a legacy that puts the team first," he wrote. "I am not a big fan of Kohli's captaincy but then the guy is at least trying with good intent."
India trails the three-match ODI series 1-0 ahead of the second game in Rajkot on Friday (January 17)
(Inputs from TOI)