VIRAT Kohli needs to take a break from cricket, Aussie Test great Brad Haddin says.
The former Baggy Green keeper has previously praised the impact stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane had on the Indian team during Kohli’s absence from the fourth Test with a shoulder injury.
In a column for cricinfo.com, Haddin says Rahane’s cool-headed captaincy must make Kohli re-think his overtly aggressive style in the wake of India’s impressive 2-1 series win over Australia.
He has suggested Rahane’s sturdy presence, in such contrast to Kohli’s firey demeanour, will have given Indian cricket officials plenty to ponder.
With Kohli in doubt for the start of the 2017 IPL, beginning on Wednesday, April 5, Haddin has urged the Indian captain to take a break from the game to reflect on his own leadership style.
“By all accounts Virat Kohli is going to miss the early games of the IPL with his shoulder problem. Based on the sour note with which he ended a tremendous Test series victory for India over a fighting Australia, that may well be a good thing,” Haddin wrote.
“At the end of this long and successful home season, I get the distinct impression that Kohli needs some time to think about how he goes about things as a batsman and a captain.
“Time away from playing might help Kohli to reach a fairer viewpoint on what has transpired over the past six weeks: a terrific battle in which the Australians genuinely challenged India, and gave Kohli the toughest time of his international career to date.”
Haddin previously claimed Kohli’s presence around the team during the fourth Test, which was highlighted by the captain’s decision to run out drinks to his team when they were in the field, would have had a destabilising impact on Rahane’s captaincy.
He believes Kohli too easily allowed his personal battles to cross over into his leadership, dragging his team closer and closer to outright hostility against Australia.
Haddin believes when Kohli’s own form was blunted he compensated by becoming more aggressive in the field, bringing his teammates with him when Rahane’s captaincy in the fourth Test shows India executed their skills better under calmer direction.
He said India was able to turn many weaknesses under Kohli’s leadership into strengths under Rahane during the series decider in Dharamsala.
Haddin highlighted India’s ability to strike during the most critical moment in the series — when the Australian top order was wiped out during the second innings of the fourth Test, dismissed for just 137 runs, leaving India a run chase of just 106 to win.
“It was a passage that said a lot about Umesh as a fast bowler, but also about Rahane as a leader: he showed toughness of mind to recognise the key moment and seize it,” Haddin wrote.
“There is no question at all about Kohli remaining captain, but the contrast between his tough talk and the tough actions of Rahane and Umesh should at least give him cause for thinking about how he will lead India next time around.”
It came as Aussie Test legend Shane Warne also questioned Kohli’s leadership after the Indian team knocked back an opportunity to get together with the Australian team to share a drink after the fourth Test.
Warne said he will be disappointed in Kohli if the Indian skipper doesn’t change his stance on his friendships with Australian players following India’s 2-1 series victory.
Kohli on Thursday clarified his declaration that he no longer considered some Australian players to be his friend after a spiteful and enthralling four-Test series on the sub-continent.
Kohli did confirm there are players in the Australian team he no longer considers friends, but said he remains mates with some of the Aussie players.
Warne said he would be disappointed if Kohli did not relax his position against Australian players.
The spin king said in his own experience it is part of cricket that heated rivals should come together in mutual respect at the end of a series.
The Indian team knocked back an olive branch from Steve Smith at the end of the fourth Test for the two teams to get together and share a drink.
“Virat is a very likeable guy and I love the fact he plays with so much passion,” Warne told Sportsmate.
“But I am sure he’s thinking now there are a few good Aussies out there that I’m friends with — and I’d be disappointed if that wasn’t the case.
“There have been moments in my career and I’ve probably pushed the boundary as well, but I think afterwards we more or less had a laugh about it.”
Online Source: The News