Corey Anderson seems to be in equal awe of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma‘s captaincy. The New Zealand allrounder, who had the opportunity of playing alongside Rohit at Mumbai Indians from 2014 to 2016 and Kohli at Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2018, feels both are great captains, but are different in their approach.

“Both are very good captains. Sharma is probably a bit laid-back in that role. He is passionate, wants to win, but keeps it under wraps a little bit more. Kohli wears his heart on his sleeve and shows a lot of emotion,” Anderson told Sportstar in an Instagram Live Session.

“But they both take charge of the team. They are natural born leaders. They are also the best batters. Sharma is one of my favourite players to watch when he is in full flow. He makes cricket look like the easiest game in the world. The top guys in the world do that.

“They are good tacticians; they understand the game and know how to win. That’s why India has been so successful. They have numerous players who have captained IPL teams. You know that if someone drops out be it injury or anything they have replacements.”

Anderson, who played against Kohli at the Under-19 World Cup in 2008, said he never imagined the Indian captain would go on to achieve such great heights and become, if not the best, then one of the best batsman in the world.

“To play against someone like Kohli from the U19 World Cup [in 2008] to all of a sudden taking the field with him for RCB [in 2018] is quite a surreal feeling. If you had asked me when I was 18 or 19 of what he was supposed to become (laughs)… it is such a cool thing to be part of witness his growth in real-time,” he said.

Of all the IPL franchises Anderson has been a part of, the allrounder cherishes his time with Mumbai Indians the most. Anderson believes MI is the best in terms of handling young, new talents, one of which was Jasprit Bumrah, who made his IPL debut in 2013 and is today arguably the best pacer in the world. Bumrah played 29 matches for IPL for MI with Anderson as teammate and the allrounder recalled how MI nurtured his raw talent and gave it direction.

“Boom was very fresh when he came. That’s one thing I give it to Mumbai. They do very well with scouting with these young players coming out of nowhere. He was raw but had incredible talent. There are a lot of people who are talented but you need to harness and steer it in the right direction. Shane Bond was the bowling coach of Mumbai. His IQ of the game is fantastic. He is an incredible coach. For someone like Bumrah to come into the environment with Shane looking after him was massive; just the baby steps while trying to figure out the bigger picture thinking ‘how am I going to become the world’s best bowler’,” Anderson said.

“And today, he is one of the best bowlers in the world. He has achieved those things quickly; credit to this talent and he is also a smart person. He has listened to the right people.”

Another case in point is Hardik Pandya, whom too Anderson has seen evolve from close quarters. “He has progressed unbelievably well. It is cool to see from where he started to where he is now. There is a swagger about him and he loves being a rockstar. Indian fans love him. He has been a massive part in Indian cricket being the all-rounder they wanted,” he said.

“With the lockdown due to COVID-19, someone in his position is raring to go out there I am sure. It gives him a bit more time to recharge engines and go again when he needs to go. Being injured, having time out of the game, you want to get back immediately. He is in the prime, it will be awesome to see where he heads towards the end of his career.”