Former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad believes that the team captain Virat Kohli currently commands is the best-balanced side fielded by the country in Test cricket.
Under Kohli’s leadership, India have become the uncrowned kings of Test cricket, winning their first series in Australia along the way. He has already led the team to more Test wins than any other captain in history.
While Kohli’s influence on that success is undeniable, he has an enviable pool of talent at his disposal.
“If you ask me, I believe that he [Virat Kohli] has the best possible team in Indian history. Bowling, batting, the balance of team are the best,” Gaekwad told Sportskeeda.
While India have had plenty of skilled batsmen and great spinners, it has been the development of a clutch of world-class fast bowlers that has cemented Kohli’s charges as the greatest of all time.
Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are the leaders of that pace attack which includes a revolving cast of talented seamers including Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and wily veteran Ishant Sharma.
“Up till now, we had no pace bowlers. We had Karsan, Roger, Kapil, but they didn’t win matches for you all the time. Today, they have a battery of pacers with options, and they are winning matches for you,” added Gaekwad.
Gaekwad has backed Kohli to end India’s ICC trophy-drought which stretches back to the 2011 World Cup, and he recalled how he had encouraged Sachin Tendulkar not to give up the captaincy.
The former coach suggested that the intense Kohli needed to strike a balance in what he asks of the players to get over the line in a major tournament.
“It is only a question of time. I had a word with Sachin Tendulkar when he left the captaincy, I tried to convince him, but he felt that he is giving 110 per cent, and why can’t the others (do the same).
“As a captain, one must understand that every individual is different. You can give 110, but others can give only 90 or 95 per cent. How [do you] convert that into 100 per cent? That is what we need to work on,” said the two-time former national coach.
India lead the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) winning their first three series before stumbling to a 2-0 defeat in New Zealand in March 2020.
The WTC was intended to finish with a final at Lord’s in June 2021. With the T20 World Cup also postponed it is unclear exactly when Kohli will get a chance to lead India’s hunt for a trophy.
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