Virat Kohli © Getty Images
Virat Kohli © Getty Images

Team India and Virat Kohli  faced criticism during the Test series between India and South Africa, as the former lost the series by 2-1. India managed to win the last Test at Wanderers and maintain their record of never losing at the venue.

In an interview with PTI, Michael Holding compared Kohli with West Indian legend Vivian Richards, saying Kohli will learn as he grows and become calmer.

‘It was similar with Viv’

“At the moment he is a young captain, who is just learning and understanding what it takes to be a captain. He is a bit exuberant and very emotional. Sometimes he gets so emotional that it is intimidating not only for the opposition, but for his players as well. When I compare Virat to Vivian Richards, it is not just in the batting but captaincy as well,” Holding said.

“It was similar with Viv. When he took over the captaincy, it was similar. And then he grew in the job. He learnt to be a little bit calmer and then his team got calmer as well. And then the results came. I think it should be a similar learning situation with Virat,” he added.

Holding also was seen talking about foreign conditions and how important it is to back up players. He suggested that many changes are unhealthy for the team. He expressed his views on Rohit Sharma’s selection over Ajinkya Rahane.

“You are playing in so many different conditions, in so many foreign countries, that you think that this pitch now suits this person or doesn’t suit someone else. Also, in the modern game, there is so much cricket that you tend to rotate players especially bowlers and give them a bit of rest. If that is a reason why he is doing it, you can understand that.

But it is unhealthy making so many changes,” said Holding.

“When they left out Ajinkya Rahane I was a bit surprised.

Everyone is saying that he didn’t have a good series against Sri Lanka, but he has an excellent record away from home. A lot of Indian batsmen struggle when they leave India, but he has not (struggled). So once you leave India that’s the first thing you think of,” he added.

He criticised the fact that India did not arrive in South Africa early and practiced enough. Kohli was the top run-scorer in the series with 286 runs in three Tests.  Holding praised Kohli saying he is the best batsman in the team.

“You can’t come to foreign countries thinking that you know everything about the conditions here and think you will play the first Test, and you will be okay. That doesn’t work,” he said.

“He is a top-class batsman. He is way above the rest of Indian batsmen in this team. Virat is miles ahead of everybody on this Indian team but I don’t think it influences his captaincy. And as soon as Virat gets some runs in England, I am happy to put the label great beside his name. At the moment I am just waiting.” he concluded.