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Richards, who admitted that he’s a “big fan” of the Indian captain, said that he sometimes does she shades of himself in Kohli. @ Twitter/Virat Kohli

Ever since Virat Kohli took over India after MS Dhoni announced his retirement from Tests in early 2015, the side has looked different. Kohli, a fitness and one who loves to relentlessly keep going through his motions, has brought about a massive change to the dressing room, an infectious change that quickly spread.

The legendary West Indies batsman Sir Vivian Richards accepted that Kohli’s discipline and high benchmarks has been good for Indian cricket, something which was missing earlier.

“I remember those days when Indian cricket would turn one side cheek, give me the other side, and walk away. Virat has brought some spice and has changed the whole parameter. Everyone felt that India was soft and Virat stands up for what he believes in. And that to me is huge and that’s what I think leadership is all about,” Richards told Sportstar.

“To have a captain who fights and gets in the opponent’s face, because that is part of the deal, is great. At times, you may be beating them with all these skills but then verbally sometimes they hurt you, and Virat is prepared to stand up. Now, India is just not giving it back but making it count with talent. Having a leader like Virat tells everyone to be highly competitive. If they give it, we are going to give it back.”

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Richards, who admitted that he’s a “big fan” of the Indian captain, said that he sometimes does she shades of himself in Kohli.

“I see a lot of similar attitudes, we are both so passionate about our leadership, we are passionate about how our fieldsmen behave. He is driven and I have always felt that is why he is the captain. And also the respect you have that sometimes there are captains that do not quite represent why they are captain. But this guy leads from the front and I enjoy that and appreciate that,” he explained.

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“I love the passion. I made a statement once, where I had seen him on the long on boundary in a match, and it was an appeal for a leg before, he is a long way from the square. He is hands on. So, because of that you can see that this guy is involved 24/7. I just love the energy that he brings. I have sometimes been accused of being hard on my players and the other day I saw him doing the same, I thought to myself ‘man… yeah I have done it too’.”

India get their World Test Championship campaign underway when they face West Indies in Antigua in the first of the two-Test series on Thursday.