“Virat Kohli is India’s cricket captain and he should continue” – Dilip Doshi

Former India left-arm spinner Dilip Doshi disagrees with the growing clamour to replace Virat Kohli as Test captain with Ajinkya Rahane in the wake of India’s success under the latter Down Under.

With Virat Kohli going on paternity leave after the first Test, Rahane admirably led an injury-ravaged side to a 2-1 triumph over a strong Australian outfit.

Speaking to Sportskeeda’s Indranil Basu in an SK Live session on Facebook, Doshi described the discussions around Virat Kohli’s leadership abilities as an opportunistic trend. He said in straightforward words:

“Virat (Kohli) is India’s cricket captain and he should continue. Simply because he left for a leave for the birth of his child should not take away from him what all he has built (the team). And, let us not forget that the team was already doing very well in Test cricket under Virat’s leadership.

“The opportunistic trend of removing him now because (Ajinkya) Rahane has done well, I don’t buy that. I think that will spoil the team spirit. Virat deserves to remain the captain. Ajinkya would be very happy to be an understudy to him now and provide his excellent service as a teammate.”

Praising Virat Kohli’s leadership skills, Doshi added that the present team has been built around his thinking. He further stated:

“He has been a good role model in various ways. He could be a tough taskmaster in the sense that he would expect people to raise their bars to his level. He has got an outstanding record as a captain.”

Doshi, who claimed 114 wickets in 33 Tests, did not buy the theory that Virat Kohli is a great batsman but not the best captain. Some experts have also pointed out that he hasn’t done well in the IPL.

Doshi said:

“This is a very serious level of sports, where a person has already been highly successful. Whether RCB have won a trophy in IPL and the others have won, that’s a moot point. We are talking about Test cricket and India’s captain who has done well.”

Pointing out to Cheteshwar Pujara’s success under Virat Kohli, the former India cricketer further said:

“You look at the players who have played so well under Virat. Look at the last series when you beat Australia in Australia. Who would have guessed Cheteshwar Pujara would have outscored Virat Kohli in a Test series in Australia and get man of the series? So obviously there has been encouragement everywhere.”

According to 73-year-old Doshi, Rahane did a superb job as captain in Australia, and India should be proud of having players like him around Virat Kohli. He further said in this regard:

“I admire Ajinkya Rahane’s leadership. He was solely responsible for holding the team together, leading by example, guiding his resources extremely carefully (in Australia). He was the main person behind winning the series. But, he was captaining in Virat’s absence. Therefore, when Virat comes back, he has to be taking his rightful place in the team as a captain.

“Indian cricket should take pride in saying that we have got a great deputy with Virat Kohli, who can also be a tremendous source of help to Virat on the field and off it.”

Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi had recently said that it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Rahane to replace Virat Kohli as full-time Test captain.

Virat Kohli has been appointed the captain of the team for the first two Tests against England, starting February 5.

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