Virat Kohli’s Indian Test cricket team hasn’t been able to live up to the expectations that were formed when he first took over as captain and this is why the series defeat against England is disappointing, according to former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar.
India lost the fourth Test against England in Southampton by 60 runs to concede a 3-1 lead in the five-match series to the hosts. This is India’s second successive overseas Test series defeat after a 1-2 loss in South Africa earlier this year.
Gavaskar feels that Kohli has been able to live up to expectations as a batsman but has fallen short when it comes to captaincy. The 69-year-old also questioned India’s decision to go with just five specialist batsmen in the four Tests so far.
“When you go in with five batsmen then you are bound to be in such a situation where you rely so much only on one player, Virat Kohli, to get you the big hundreds,” Gavaskar was quoted as saying by India Today. “He can’t do it every time, he’s human.”
Gavaskar added that it was foolish to expect India’s lower order to score 60-70 runs after Kohli’s partnership with No 5 batsman Ajinkya Rahane was broken in the second innings of the Southampton Test.
With 544 runs in four Tests, Kohli has scored more than double the number of runs than the next best Indian batsman – Cheteshwar Pujara, with 241. Rahane comes in third with 220 runs, while all-rounder Hardik Pandya is fourth with 164.
“If only the other batsmen could have played like [Kohli],” Gavaskar said. “If any other batsman could have scored over 400-500 runs then India wouldn’t have lost Test series in South Africa and in England...The captain is only as good as his team.”
Gavaskar said that the series defeats in South Africa and England would be a learning curve for Kohli as captain. “Everybody would be disappointed looking at the result because when Virat Kohli took over as captain, it seemed like the team would head into a new direction under him,” he said.
“The team looked hungry to win and seemed more hopeful of doing well under Kohli. Everyone thought that he will bring in a lot more josh, a lot more energy into the team. So quite naturally, there will be questions asked about his captaincy,” he added.
You can read the entire interview here.