Johannesburg: Virat Kohli can come across as intimidating but he is still learning and would become calmer as he grows on the job, feels West Indies’ pace legend Michael Holding, who finds an uncanny similarity between the Indian skipper and Sir Vivian Richards.
“At the moment he is a young captain, who is just learning and understanding what it takes to be a captain. He is a bit exuberant and very emotional. Sometimes he gets so emotional that it is intimidating not only for the opposition but for his players as well. When I compare Virat to Vivian Richards, it is not just in the batting but captaincy as well,” Holding said.
“It was similar with Viv. When he took over the captaincy, it was similar. And then he grew in the job. He learnt to be a little bit calmer and then his team got calmer as well. And then the results came. I think it should be a similar learning situation with Virat,” he added.
India clinched the third Test by 63 runs at Wanderers but lost the three-match series against South Africa after losing the opening two Tests.
Kohli’s selection decision came under the scanner in the Test series and Holding too was critical of his chop-and- change policy which saw him play a different XI in each of the 35 Tests.
“You are playing in so many different conditions, in so many foreign countries, that you think that this pitch now suits this person or doesn’t suit someone else. Also, in the modern game, there is so much cricket that you tend to rotate players especially bowlers and give them a bit of rest. If that is a reason why he is doing it, you can understand that.
But it is unhealthy making so many changes,” said Holding.
One of the selection decision was picking Rohit Sharma over Test specialist Ajinkya Rahane in the first two Tests and Holding said the Indian team management must be more careful about selecting their batsmen especially on overseas tours.
Kohli finished as the highest run-getter with 286 runs in the three-Test series and Holding was all praise for the Indian skipper.
“He is a top-class batsman. He is way above the rest of Indian batsmen in this team. When I think of the past Indian batsmen, Sachin Tendulkar was the best batsman in his team.
“Virat is miles ahead of everybody on this Indian team but I don’t think it influences his captaincy. And as soon as Virat gets some runs in England, I am happy to put the label great besides his name. At the moment I am just waiting.”