Former England skipper Nasser Hussain feels Virat Kohli’s India are not a side which will be bullied like previous generation teams.
The Indian teams of the past were not known to give it back to the opposition when they were sledged but the current side under Virat Kohli fights fire with fire.
The same was palpable in the second Test match at Lord’s when the Indian players got under the skin of England’s batsmen after Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami were targeted by the hosts’ fast bowlers.
Virat Kohli is well known to take the bull by its horns and he is always aggressive. In fact, it has been noticed that this approach of Kohli helps him in not only getting the best out of himself but also the team. India has a potent pace battery, which is aggressive in its approach and they are fully backed by the skipper.
Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah were all charged up in the second innings of the Lord’s Test as they breathed down the neck of the opposition with their aggressive approach.
The current team has shown that they are capable of taking on the opposition in any kind of conditions and they don’t crumble under pressure when there are verbal battles.
Nasser Hussain wrote for Daily Mail in his column, “Virat Kohli is the right man at the right time to lead this formidable India side. His players, in particular the bowlers, want an aggressive captain. They want Kohli stirring things up, as he did so effectively in that brilliant second Test at Lord’s… This India are not a side who will be bullied, as perhaps previous generations have been.”
“They wouldn’t allow themselves to be bullied by Aussie players or crowds — when Tim Paine said, “Wait until we get you to the Gabba”, it just spurred them on. And nothing England can do will bully them now even if Chris Silverwood has said he will fight Indian fire with fire for the rest of this series,” said Nasser Hussain.
Hussain added that Kohli represents modern India and he isn’t afraid to take the game head on. However, it has been noticed that Kohli sometimes crosses the line.
“Kohli’s aggression is aimed at winding up the opposition, and he gets under the skin of every team he plays against. I’m sure most don’t particularly like playing against him, and English supporters won’t particularly like him, but he won’t care a jot about that… Yes, he can push the line. At times it doesn’t look great, but, as I said last week, I like to see passion and controlled aggression from cricketers.”
“What Kohli in particular represents is modern-day India, the one that won’t be pushed around. Even though umpires might like to remind him occasionally that he doesn’t run the game,” Nasser Hussain added.
The former England skipper feels Kohli is trying to put too much into his captaincy and thus it is taking away something from his batting.
“You could argue that Kohli is putting so much into the captaincy of India now in his pursuit of a first Test series win in England as captain that it has taken something away from his batting. He seems vulnerable again outside off-stump, as he was when he played here in 2014,” said Hussain.