Virat Kohli    AFP
Virat Kohli AFP

India lost the three-match Test series by 0-2 at Centurion. India lost both the Test by 72 and 135 runs respectively. Virat Kohli is the only Indian batsman to score in triple figures in the series so far. India has made shocking decisions regarding team selection in both the games. According to reports in ESPNcricinfo, Graeme Smith has praised Kohli saying he sets standards for everyone on field but has also pointed out the fact that he needs someone in the support staff who can challenge his decisions. He believes that will help Kohli grow as a leader.

“When I look at Virat, I think he needs someone in the support staff who can constructively challenge him and help him grow,” Smith said.

“He has all the capabilities tactically, he knows his own game, he sets the standard in the field for everyone else. I think if he had a really constructive person in his environment, who could talk to him, make him think, maybe even challenge him with some different ideas, in a constructive way, not an angry or aggressive way, but make him think, open his eyes to other possibilities, that would make him a really good leader.”

Smith believes Kohli’s intensity brings the best out of him. He also said that at times Kohli’s reaction on field night have an negative impact on the team. Kohli was fined 50% of the match fee in last game for throwing the ball on pitch out of frustration.

“We all know he’s an outstanding player, his intensity really benefits his own personal game, he loves that confrontation, that intensity brings the best out of him,” Smith said. “Sometimes as a leader you’ve got to consider how you impact the others in the environment, that’s an area of his leadership that he needs to grow. You can see, he’s often at his players. He’s very aware, he’s focus on the game is on, sweeping or mid-on.”

“[But] often his reaction to situations… I think that can sometimes impact on your team negatively. We all know how powerful Virat Kohli is in world cricket, in Indian cricket. For him, he’s built this aura and for him maybe to find a level where he can connect with all his players, to get to a level where can get the Indian team to be as successful as he is, that’s something that he, when I watch him, is grappling with,” he added.

Kohli is a very expressive captain on field. He celebrates every wicket and landmark cheerfully and shows frustration after getting out. However, Smith is unsure if Kohli is an long term option for India.

“I don’t know, when I look at him, if he is a long-term captaincy option for India,” Smith said. “At the end of this year, he’d have been away from home for a while, the pressure he’ll face, the scrutiny from the press – I know he only gets that in India – but if you’re away from home and you’re struggling for form as a team, I don’t know if I’d want to burden Virat Kohli with that… Or if India have a better leader in that environment,” he concluded.