Former India batsman VVS Laxman said Virat Kohli would be the happiest man for India’s performances in the Australia Test series, adding such achievements don’t happen overnight and it takes years of effort to produce a side as good as the current Indian side.

VVS Laxman, speaking to India Today Sports Consulting Editor Boria Majumdar on Sports Today, rubbished talks of Ajinkya Rahane replacing Virat Kohli as Test captain, saying champion sides have multiple leaders and India is blessed to have characters who are capable of inspiring the team in tough situations.

Laxman pointed out that Virat Kohli would be a happy man that he has so many leaders in the side in the likes of Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin and Rohit Sharma as he gears up to return to captaincy. Kohli will be leading India in the upcoming 4-Test series against England, starting February 5 in Chennai.

Kohli played only one Test match in Australia as he returned to India after the Adelaide defeat to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. Ajinkya Rahane took over as the stand-in captain and inspired a heroic comeback as India came back from the lows of Adelaide to beat Australia 2-1, including a record run chase at Gabba.

“Firstly, I would say if anyone would be proud of the achievement of the Indian team in Australia, it will be Virat. Because this has been something that is a work in progress. Such achievements don’t happen overnight. The entire system and entire structure and there is a lot of effort that goes into such an achievement. And Virat will be very proud of what the boys did in Australia,” Laxman said.

“Also, I always feel good teams have leaders. While one will be designated captain, good teams will have a core group of leaders. Virat will be very happy that he has got leaders in the form of Ajinkya, leaders in the form of Ashwin, Pujara, Rohit and that’s what you want in a champion side. And this Indian team is a champion side.”

He will get back to scoring big hundreds: Laxman

Meanwhile, Laxman also pointed out that Virat Kohli will be keen on getting back to peak form and that he expects the India captain to score big hundreds against England. Kohli has not hit a Test hundred since the day-night Test in November 2019 against Bangladesh. However, Kohli showed signs of a return to form when he hit a 74 on a difficult Adelaide Oval pitch in Australia.

“Make no mistake, Virat will be eagerly waiting to contribute to the side again. He will be wearing that India cap with a lot of pride,” Laxman said.

“It really amazes me as to how day in and day out, he still continues to play the game with so much intensity. Not even once I have seen Kohli take it easy when he is on a cricket field. Everyone is waiting to see Virat go out there and win matches for the country. 2020 had been a little quiet for Virat. He also knows that. As someone who strives to achieve excellence, he will get back to scoring back hundreds. And that’s what Indian team and fans want,” he added.

India will take on England in the 1st of the 4-match series at the MA Chidambaram Stadium from Friday. Captain Kohli had their first outdoor session with the team on Monday as the team had their first net session on Tuesday morning at Chepauk.



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