“Virat Kohli is The Most Australian Non-Australian Cricketer of All Time”: Greg Chappell
Virat Kohli (Credit: Twitter/@BCCI)

Former Australia cricketer Greg Chappell heaped huge praise on Indian skipper Virat Kohli and called him the most important player in the context of world cricket. Chappell, who had coached the Indian cricket team in the past, said that Kohli idea is to dominate the opposition with his aggression. Kohli has often been hailed for his passion for the game as the Indian team has been playing an aggressive brand of cricket under his leadership from the past few years.

Chappell said that earlier the Indian teams played cricket in accord with the Gandhian principle as Sourav Ganguly was the first captain to change the approach and now Kohli has taken it to another level.

“Many previous Indian cricket teams tended to play with undue deference to their opponents, as if in accord with the Gandhian principle. Sourav Ganguly was the first Indian captain to try to change that approach. It worked to a degree in India, but usually hit a hurdle overseas,” Chappell wrote in ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.

“Virat Kohli does not believe in passive resistance. He is a proponent of all-out aggression. His idea is to dominate the opposition.

The former Aussie great called Kohli the “most Australian non-Australian” cricketer of all time.

“Kohli is the most Australian non-Australian cricketer of all time. He embodies the new India. As the premier player and captain of the world’s pre-eminent cricket power, he feels an abiding responsibility to the wider game,” Chappel said.

Kohli has often displayed his affection for the Test cricket and Chappell feels that the Indian skipper wants his team to be respected in the most demanding format.

“The fact that Kohli champions Test cricket is a huge plus for a format under pressure for time and space in a crowded schedule,” Chappell said. “Test cricket has always been the pinnacle for him and it has driven him to be fitter and stronger to cope with its demands. It is why he drives his team in these areas because he wants India to be respected in the most demanding format.

“If the captain of India is ambivalent towards Test cricket, some administrators would be happy for it to slide into ignominy, as they are seduced by the newer, shinier models,” Chappell said.

The former India coach recalled an incident from the 2019 WC clash between India and Australia when fans booed Steve Smith but Kohli intervened and ask them to not do it. Talking about the incident, Chappell said that the brash youngster had morphed into a senior statesman.

“Winning games for India is way more important to him and he sees it as his prime objective…he is aware of his status in the game and how he can impact others.

“His response to the Indian supporters who booed Steve Smith at The Oval during the 2019 World Cup was illuminating and heartening. The brash youngster had morphed into a senior statesman,” Chappell said.

The 72-year-said feels that Kohli is batteling alongside Smith and Kane Williamson for the mantle of the best batsman of their era, but called the Indian captain most important one in the context of world cricket.

“Steve Smith and Kane Williamson vie with Kohli for the mantle of the best batsman of their era. Smith holds a handy lead statistically, but it would be a brave pundit who would split them.

“Kohli, though, is the most important one in the context of world cricket.

“Kohli is tremendously influential. He is also under the most pressure. It cannot be underestimated how hard it must be to go out to bat with the hopes, aspirations and mood of a billion people, riding on your every performance,” Chappell said.