Former opener Gautam Gambhir on Sunday (October 13) hailed Virat Kohli’s leadership skills, saying the current Indian captain isn’t scared of losing and it is this quality which sets him apart from his predecessors.
Kohli played his career-best knock of 254 not out to script India’s innings and 137-run victory over South Africa in the second Test in Pune. By virtue of this win, Team India also registered a record 11th series win at home.
"If you are scared of losing, you will never win and probably that's the biggest plus he has, he isn't scared of losing," Gambhir told Star Sports after India’s win in Pune.
India have lost only two series since Kohli became the Test captain in 2014. While the first one came in 2017-18 tour of South Africa, the other came in England in 2018. Under Virat’s leadership, India registered their maiden Test series win in Down Under on their tour to Australia in 2018-19.
"We talk about Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni, but what Virat has created, India has started winning overseas as well," Gambhir said.
"He's taken that risk, which a lot of other captains have not been able to take. The others always wanted an extra batter so that he they don't lose the test match. Whereas, Virat is the only captain who has gone abroad and played with five bowlers, with Hardik Pandya being an all-rounder,” he added.
The southpaw cited the example of the last Test match in South Africa where Kohli had opted to go with five bowlers to win the match.
"There was Hardik Pandya and four other fast bowlers. He has taken that gamble and he has succeeded," he said.
In 50 Tests as captain, Kohli has led the team to victory in 30 games and has a spectacular win percentage of above 60, the highest among other present Test skippers. In fact, only Steve Waugh (37) and Ricky Ponting (35) have more wins than Virat in first 50 Tests as captain.