Virat Kohli’s fiery displays in New Zealand have been defended by Madan Lal. The new head of the BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee believes the Indian captain should retain his aggressive streak on the field. India was soundly beaten by the Kiwis in both their World Test Championship meetings earlier this year. There were several incidents throughout the series which have drawn criticism from some quarters, particularly those involving Kohli and his opposite number, Kane Williamson.
Lal backs Kohli to rediscover his touch
Despite a difficult recent run, Lal expects Kohli to bounce back. India is still in a promising position as far as the World Test Championship is concerned. Before the 2-0 defeat to New Zealand, they’d won 7 consecutive matches in 3 series and sit top of the table with 360 points.
“He is still the world’s best player. At times, technical flaws come in and you then try harder and harder but still you don’t come out of it. It happens to the best of players”, the 68-year-old said of the captain’s recent performances.
It remains to be seen when Kohli will next be in action though. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has meant global sport has ground to a halt, including cricket. Indeed, there are doubts over the possibility of the Indian Premier League taking place, despite a two-week postponement, with the first game rescheduled for April 15th, 2020.
The BCCI is monitoring the situation on a weekly basis. If the competition is able to be held, Kohli will look to rediscover his form as captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore. RCB is seeking a first title in the IPL after several disappointing showings in recent editions. There are dozens of popular cricket betting sites in India, that will have all the latest odds available before and during the tournament.
Madan Lal defends Kohli’s aggression
Kohli had previously defended Williamson, who came under fire following a 5-0 thrashing in the T20 part of the tour. Those comments made a passionate send-off from the Indian captain in the second Test even more surprising. There is passion in the heat of the moment though and Lal believes that Kohli is only fulfilling the leadership role that India has craved on the cricket field.
“First everyone wanted a very aggressive captain and now you want Kohli to stop his aggressive streak. I love the way he is on the field. Earlier, people used to say that Indians are not aggressive; now that we’ve become aggressive, people question that and ask why we are so aggressive. I enjoy Kohli’s aggression; we need a captain like him.” He told the Times of India.
Lal has plenty of experience in this area, too. The all-rounder played 39 Tests from India between 1974 and 1986, taking 71 wickets and scoring over 1,000 runs with the bat.
Kohli’s dip in form sees him slip from the top of the Test rankings
The New Zealand tour was a tough one for Kohli. Across the nine matches, the 30-year-old batsman reaches 50 just once, in the first ODI meeting in Hamilton. On eight other occasions against the Kiwis, Kohli failed to make 20 runs in a single innings. That included all four of his batting efforts in the two-Test matches in Christchurch and Wellington.
As a result of the most recent round of matches, Steve Smith has jumped to the top of the ICC’s Test Batsmen rankings with 911 points. Having previously topped the chart, Kohli sits in second place ahead of Marnus Labuschange, Kane Williamson and Babar Azam, who make up the top five places.