Virat Kohli’s exploits as a batsman and a leader during the recently concluded South Africa tour have won him plenty of fans all around the world. After being 2-0 down in the Test series, Kohli led the team from the front in the third and final Test at Wanderers to seal a history 63-run victory. From then on, India’s winning juggernaut didn’t stop as they secured both the limited-overs series with utmost ease.
While the Men in Blue clinched the six-match one-day international series with a stunning margin of 5-1, they won the three-match ODI series 2-1. Virat was the highest run-getter in both Test and ODI series from the either side. The Indian captain had scored 286 runs at an average of 47.66 on some of the most difficult wickets in three Tests and then followed it up with 558 runs at an average of 186 in 6 ODIs.
Seeing the way Kohli came out with flying colours in a tough tour, India’s head coach Ravi Shastri has compared the mercurial player to Pakistan's World Cup winning captain Imran Khan.
"It's still early days for Virat. He is still very very young. But he is already there among the very best. He wants to lead by example. He reminds me a lot of Imran. He is still very young but he has got lot of qualities that Imran had when it came to leading a side. Which is great," Shastri told Anandabazar Patrika.
Elaborating his statement, Ravi added that much like Imran, Kohli has that desire to remain on top at any cost.
"Just the ability to always want to dominate, want to compete, irrespective of whatever conditions you get, believe that you can do it and when you have that kind of quality it spreads among the other players as well. And that was very similar to the way Imran led."
"I think he was fantastic on the last trip. It was a tough trip," Shastri explained.
Talking about Kohli’s stellar show with the willow, India’s chief coach said: "When you are the leading batsman in the side plus the captain, plus the conditions you get, plus the side that you are playing which is formidable, you need to be on top of your game.
"Mentally and physically. And he did just that. For someone to score 870-plus score on a single tour in two months, is an unbelievable achievement. Really unbelievable achievement," he added.
Shastri also lambasted the former cricketers, who are asking Kohli to cut down his on-field aggression.
"My only advice to them is to mind their own business. I will keep it very simple. Whoever is saying that, mind your own business. Let us get on with our job,” the 55-year-old said.
"I think he is absolutely fine. If there was a problem, the umpires are there. The match-referee is there to sort it out. What are they there for? He is hardly been called by the match-referee for going over the top in his career. So where is the problem?" he concluded.