Virat Kohli yet to leave an impact as a leader, reckons Bishan Singh Bedi

Bedi also feels that Kohli hasn't been tested as a leader yet.

Virat Kohli | BCCI

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 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.

Amidst all the accolades, legendary India spinner Bishan Singh Bedi has said that Kohli still has a long way to go as far as achieving greatness as a leader is concerned.

"Let me be very honest. He is leading from the front as a batsman. Team is showing results. You talk about Steve Waugh, you talk about Michael Brearley. (They were) real thinkers of the game. He is yet to leave that impact. I want him to show that. He has not been tested yet," Bedi told Firstpost.

"Kohli is phenomenal with his consistency. What I admire more about him is his intensity. He is very intense. He is frighteningly intense," he added.

Among the many takeaways from the South Africa tour was the dominance of India's wrist spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. They spin twins scalped 33 wickets between them in the six-match ODI series that India won with a stunning margin of 5-1. Although Bedi deemed the spin duo as promising, he cautioned against overselling them at such an early phase of their careers.

"Let's not jump to conclusions. But they are very promising. Kuldeep particularly, I'm very fond of him. But this is novelty that has to be nurtured properly," he opined.

After returning from the 58-day long South Africa tour, India’s head coach Ravi Shastri has said that "sometimes you feel in your country, people are happy when you lose". Bedi, however, sounded a little baffled when asked to weigh in his thoughts on the issue.

"Why would anybody be happy if India loses. I haven't read it, but I find it not very conducive," the 71-year-old said.

Team India are currently is in Sri Lanka, where they are participating in the T20I tri-series that also have Bangladesh as the third team. Considering the fact that India had recently played against Sri Lanka – both home and away, Bedi looked bemused by BCCI’s decision to play another series against Sri Lanka.

"What are we getting out of Sri Lanka? We beat them in their backyard, as well as on our soil, and now we are once again in the island nation to play cricket. They could've easily played domestic cricket (instead)," he concluded.


By Salman Anjum - 08 Mar, 2018

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