Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has said he never questioned Virat Kohli’s captaincy in the longer formats of the game and backed the India skipper to do well with the Test team in the near future. Gambhir said it has never been about one person in the Kohli-led Test team and that’s been one of the major plus points of the Asian giants.
Gambhir’s comments come even as a section of the supporters and former cricketers are backing Ajinkya Rahane to take over as Test captain after the Test series win in Australia. India lost the series opener in Adelaide after which Kohli had headed home on paternity leave. Rahane inspired the team to bounce back and rally against odds and injury setbacks to seal an emphatic 2-1 win over Australia in the 4-Test series.
Kohli will return to lead the side when India take on England in a 4-Test series, starting February 5 in Chennai. Rahane will be his deputy and the Mumbai batsman has rubbished talks of change in leadership, saying Kohli was and is the leader of the Test team and he only did his duty as the stand-in captain in Australia.
Notably, Kohli has not lost a Test series yet as captain at home, and his records as the skipper of the Test side speaks for itself.
“I have always had question marks over his T20 captaincy but I never had question marks on his 50-over or Test match captaincy. India has done very well under his leadership especially in red-ball cricket and I am sure India will continue to grow further under his leadership,” Gambhir told Star Sports Game Plan.
“India was never dependent on one or two people and Virat Kohli has said that time and time again. Yes, Virat Kohli is the leader and I am sure he is going to be as happy as the rest of the squad as well. He has done really well in Test cricket,” he added.
Meanwhile, Gambhir also pointed out that Kohli will be entering the Test series with a fresh mindset after having had the break during which he became father to a baby girl. Notably, Anushka Sharma and Kohli announced on social media on Monday that they have named their baby girl “Vamika”.
Kohli has not hit a hundred in Test cricket since the day-night fixture against Bangladesh in November 2019 but he will face his familiar foes against whom he has scored more than 500 runs in each of their last 2 meetings.
Kohli will come back happy for England Tests: Gambhir
“One important person is obviously Virat Kohli because he is going to come back fresh. He is going to come back happy as well. I am sure he has probably experienced the best phase of his life because once you have a little one, nothing can beat that. The leader needs to be fresh and happy,” Gambhir said.
Gambhir backed Kohli to be in high-intensity mode, saying the India captain understands the importance of the upcoming series in the context of the World Test Championship. India are on top of the WTC standings and a good result against England will help them seal a spot in the Lord’s final.
“As any cricketer would say, it is not about hundreds. It is about the runs you can score to make your team win. For Virat Kohli it really does not matter that he has not batted in Australia, obviously, he would have loved to but the most important thing is that he is going to look forward to the England series and he knows how important the series is to qualify for the World Test Championship final,” he added.