Virat Kohli’s contribution to Indian cricket as a batsman is so much that his captaincy brilliance at times goes unnoticed.
Under Kohli, Team India have appeared in 89 ODIs and won 62 of them. He has also led India to 55 matches in the longest format of the game and 37 matches in T20Is, guiding the side to 33 and 22 wins, respectively.
Recently, former Australia speedster Brett Lee weighed in over Kohli’s captaincy and opined that his style is quite similar to that of former Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting.
“Everyone's got different styles of captaincy. If you see Ricky Ponting and Virat Kohli, you could say there are some similarities between their captaincy styles. They've got that raw aggression, but it's not necessarily over the top,” Lee told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive chat.
“There have been times where every captain's gone over the top from every nation. But I've enjoyed watching Kohli's captaincy. Because real passion comes through. He wants to do really well for the team,” he added.
Lee, who represented Australia in 76 Tests, 221 ODIs and 25 T20Is, played against Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni and Kohli in his career and spoke about the different captaincy styles of the three Indian greats.
“I played against Dhoni and Ganguly. They are once again different captains. They've got a different, more of a laid-back style but effective. So, you don't have to be a captain that's aggressive. You don't have to be laid back. You should do whatever works for you and whatever to get the best out of your players. But there are guys who are great team managers in terms of the way they manage their talent amongst the team. Because that's all a captain is all about. The captain should be a good leader. People and players should look up to them and respect them and these guys (Ganguly, Dhoni, Kohli) have definitely got that,” he remarked.
Kohli has been on a record-breaking spree with the bat in the last few years. The 31-year-old has already amassed 21,000+ runs and 70 centuries in international cricket.
In particular, Virat has dominated the 50-over format, scoring 11,867 runs at an average of 59.33 from 248 games. He has already aggregated 43 one-day international hundreds – only behind the legendary Sachin Tendulkar (49).
Commenting on Kohli’s batting exploits, Lee said: “Apart from his (Kohli) captaincy, he does well with the bat personally. He is the same as Ricky Ponting. He had that real powerful aggression but not too much. There's a nice balance, I think. They are pretty similar when it comes to captaincy. And also, they've got a great ability to read the players. So, you think about Ponting the way he had set the fields, very attacking fields, I see the same In Kohli. Kohli is happy to attack.”