Ever since India has lost the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, there have been some question marks raised on Virat Kohli’s captaincy.
Former Indian batsman Suresh Raina has stated that it is early to judge Virat Kohli’s leadership and he needs to be given some time.
Kohli had led India to the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy, semifinal of 2019 World Cup and the final of World Test Championship. However, the Indian team hasn’t been able to cross the last hurdle in the big ICC events. Raina stated that Kohli hasn’t been able to win an IPL trophy let alone a ICC trophy.
“I think he has been the No. 1 captain. His record proves that he has achieved a lot. I think he is the No. 1 batsman in the world. You’re talking about an ICC trophy but he hasn’t even won an IPL yet.
I feel that he needs to be given some time. There are 2-3 World Cups taking place one after the other – two T20 World Cups and then the 50-over World Cup. It’s not easy to reach the final – sometimes you miss out on a few things,” Raina told News24 Sports.
On the other hand, Raina feels that the batting unit did let the team down in the WTC Final against the Kiwis. India was able to score 217 and 170 in both innings of the final and Raina added that the big batsmen of the team should take the onus on their shoulders to deliver the goods in the big final. However, no Indian batsmen was able to go past the 50-run mark despite getting off to a good start.
“The WTC final was one such example. People said it was because of the conditions but I feel there was something lacking in batting. The bigger batsmen will have to stitch partnerships and take responsibilities,” he added.
Meanwhile, India hasn’t been able to win a big title since the 2013 Champions Trophy despite consistently making it to the last stages of the tournaments. The Indian team hasn’t been able to win the big stages of crucial matches and it has led to their downfall. However, Raina added that Indian players are not chokers.
“See, we are not chokers, because we already have the 1983 World Cup, 2007 T20 World Cup the then 50-over World Cup in 2011. We need to understand that players are training hard. With three World Cups approaching, I don’t think anyone will call them chokers. We need to give them a little more time.
They are doing well and Virat has the capability to change the game. We need to respect the new style of this team. But I feel that in the next 12 to 16 months, an ICC trophy is going to come to India,” Raina explained.