Days after India suffered a humiliating 1-4 series loss against England, former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar on Thursday said that Virat Kohli still has a lot of learning left to do in terms of Test captaincy. Reflecting on the defeats in South Africa and in England, the batting maestro pointed out that Kohli lack of experience as a skipper came to the forefront with his inaccurate field placements, untimely bowling changes.
“He (Virat) still has a lot to learn. Like we saw in South Africa earlier and now in England too, there were instances when right field placements or timely bowling changes made by him could have made a big difference. That was missing again. It has just been two years (he took over four years back) since he took over as a captain so at times the lack of experience shows,” the former cricketer said while speaking to India Today.
However, Gavaskar backed Kohli over his much-publicised reaction on whether he supported the claim made by coach Ravi Shastri on this being the traveling side in the last 15 years. Gavaskar said that the question by the journalist ‘was perfectly justified’ but the timing was inappropriate. “That is probably the wrong time to ask him that question. He (Virat) must have been hurting from the defeat. Maybe the reporter was perfectly justified in asking that but I don’t think any skipper would have responded with a “you are right but we are wrong” statement.”
“His team was 1-3 down and maybe he just wanted to end on a high. I don’t think that we should read too much into Virat’s reaction either. It was clear that the skipper was disappointed with what had happened and maybe he responded that way,” Gavaskar added.
Speaking on Ravi Shastri’s claim, Gavaskar opined that the coach must have said it to lift the morale of the team. “To be honest, Ravi (Shastri) would have said that (best touring team in last 15 years) to lift the morale of the team. I don’t think so that he was trying to rubbish the earlier teams. That wasn’t the coach’s intention I believe,” Gavaskar said.