The Border-Gavaskar trophy is intensely poised at 1-1 after two action-packed thrillers. As the rivalry resumes in the third test at Ranchi beginning today, former Australian cricketer Shane Watson gave his take on Virat Kohli’s leadership and the ongoing series.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Watson was quoted as saying “Virat Kohli’s captaincy is an iron-fisted dictatorship and Australia must brace themselves for the attack of the clones in Ranchi”. Kohli has recently drawn flak from the Australian media and former Australian cricketers over his aggressive stand on the Smith DRS saga.
Watson was a key performer for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL last season when Kohli brilliantly captained the side to the finals and scored an impressive 973 runs to bag the Orange cap as well, which is an IPL record. Kohli has time and again proved his mettle as an aggressive captain and his on-field exploits in the Bangalore test made the contest a joy to watch.
“I wouldn’t say he’s got a temper, he just rides the highs and lows of the game from an emotional point of view. He wants to win, he hates losing and as a captain that’s how he’s built. One of the things I absolutely love about Virat is he’s got such a deep down burning desire to win and obviously, he’s up to pushing the limits”, added Watson
Natural comparisons are drawn between Australian captain Steve Smith and Kohli, both prolific batsmen and able leaders. The DRS saga appeared to take their rivalry to newer heights, with the BCCI lodging a complaint against Smith and Australia to the ICC. The matter was later resolved outside after a meeting between the two boards. The turn of events has already added fuel to the fire.
Commenting on both the captains, Watson said “I just know more than anything how much it means to these two guys. They’re both ultra-competitive. Virat’s outwardly more emotional about how much he loves winning. Steve has that same burning ambition … he’s just not as visible as Virat.”
“I think it’s two players who are the best in the world and in time they will be greats of international cricket. To see two youngish skippers going head-to-head like this in such an awesome series. A lot of people love to be able to see two guys putting it all on the line for their teams,” concluded Watson.