His captaincy has come under the scanner after India’s defeat in the second Test in Perth, but former Australia coach John Buchanan praised Virat Kohli’s leadership, saying that he has continued Sourav Ganguly’s legacy.
In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Buchanan said Kohli brought ‘wonderful colour’ to the sport as well.
“He continues Sourav Ganguly’s tradition and that is not to take a back step at any point of time and encourage all his players to do the same. He brings wonderful colour to the game. Sometimes he is going to push the envelope, but nonetheless I still thinks that he respects the game,” the 65-year-old World Cup-winning coach said.
“He respects the history of the game. I think he is the leader that Indian cricket needs. He will leave a legacy of how to play the game, not only from a technical point of view but also from a leader’s point. He is someone who has extended the legacy that Ganguly created.”
The former Australian coach also praised the Indian captain for his consistent performances as a batsman away from home in 2018.
“His hundred in the last Test was a very, very good example of how good a player he is,” Buchanan said. “Because in modern cricket most teams and individuals find it difficult to play away from home as the schedule no longer allows them the length of time they need to properly adjust to not only playing in an away country but also experiencing all the people, travel, food and everything else that goes into making the tour. He demonstrated technically how good a player he is.”
Buchanan felt that Sandpapergate happened because “there was poor leadership in and around the team” but refused to accept that the teams of the past (including his side) were not responsible for what went wrong in Cape Town earlier this year. While he agreed that there were incidents concerning his players’ behaviour too, he said those weren’t the same.
“Over the eight-year period [as coach], there were only a handful of incidents that one would recall to say that that particular Australian team made some people call us ‘The Ugly Australians’. However what I think was the difference when you compare that to what has been happening over the last two years is that most of those times the players responded to change their actions and how they behave,” Buchanan said.
Read the full interview here.