Virat Kohli’s demeanour on the field has pleased and upset people equally, with some welcoming his in-your-face pumped-up aggression, and others calling for a more restrained approach. As far as Madan Lal, the new head of the BCCI’s cricket advisory committee, is concerned, asking Kohli to “mellow down” makes no sense, and India “need a captain like him”.
During India’s tour of New Zealand, Kohli gave his opposite number Kane Williamson a fiery send-off during the second and final Test. The act came as a surprise because Kohli and Williamson have spoken about sharing a close equation.
“I don’t understand why people in India are asking him to mellow down,” Lal, the former India allrounder, was quoted as saying by the Times of India. “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.”
India eventually lost the second Test to be swept 2-0 in the series. After the match, Kohli bristled at the press conference over a question about his send-off and asked reporters to not create controversies.
Kohli’s send-off to Williamson also came at the end of a tour that had not been rewarding personally for Kohli, with just 38 runs in four innings in the two Tests, and a solitary half-century in the whole tour across the T20Is, ODIs and Tests.
“He was out of form,” Lal said. “You can say it was a loss of confidence. That (the New Zealand tour) doesn’t take anything away from him. 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.”
Lal, alongwith RP Singh and Sulakshana Naik, form the new CAC, and the three recently finalised two new members of the senior men’s selection committee, appointing Sunil Joshi and Harvinder Singh to take the spots vacated by MSK Prasad and Gagan Khoda. Joshi is also the new chairman of selectors.
Lal said the decision to pick two candidates out of the 40 who had applied was difficult, but unanimous. “It was a difficult decision. There were 40 candidates and we had to pick only two. Since MSK Prasad, the outgoing selector, was from the south region, we picked Sunil Joshi, and Harvinder Singh from the central region. It was a unanimous decision by the committee. Out of all the candidates, he (Joshi) was best for the chief selector’s role.”