Dharamsala: Former wicketkeeper Brad Haddin feels feisty India captain Virat Kohli needs to take a break from cricket to reflect on his batting and leadership style after the bitterly-fought Test series against Australia.
With Kohli’s participation in doubt for the start of the upcoming Indian Premier League, starting April 5, Haddin said the he needs a short break to introspect on what transpired during the intense series which India won 2-1.
“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 in his column for ‘ESPNcricinfo.com’.
“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,” he said.
India defeated Australia 2-1 at home in one of the most intense but bitterly-fought series in recent years.
The series was marked by one controversy after another with the two captains – Kohli and Steve Smith – in the eye of storm.
“Kohli saying that he no longer had any friends among the Australian team after the conclusion of the series took a lot of gloss off the contest, and once again suggested that the touring side had got as close as they did to India by underhanded means. This is not an assertion backed up by evidence and sets a poor example to all those watching the game, not only in India but around the world.”
Haddin was also impressed by the calm and composed demeanour of stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane, who led India in the series-deciding fourth and final Test in Dharamsala after Kohli missed the game due to a shoulder injury.
“Ajinkya Rahane, the stand-in captain, is as different from Kohli in his demeanour on the field as it is possible to be. He does not give the impression of looking for a fight so much as looking for groceries in the supermarket, but his second-innings batting against Pat Cummins showed that a bold heart beats beneath the quieter exterior,” he wrote.
“Similarly, the way he was able to work with the Indian fast bowlers, particularly Umesh Yadav, showed good sense and strong character.”
“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.