Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Australia skipper Ian Chappell believes that Mahendra Singh Dhoni “has passed his use-by-date as a Test captain”.
Chappell’s comments come after Virat Kohli became only the second player in Test history to score two centuries on captaincy debut.
“Kohli’s performance over three and a half days must have tempted the selectors into thinking now is the right time to elevate him to full-time Test captaincy,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo. “There’s no doubt that MS Dhoni has passed his use-by-date as a Test captain, and this seems the perfect time to enact the changeover.
“Kohli, India’s stand-in captain but potential full-time leader, countered with an innings marked by plenty of physical courage, producing a glittering array of shots after receiving a fearful blow to the head.
“Kohli’s innings issued a strong challenge to his own team and sent a simple but forceful message to his opponents: we will not be brushed aside as easily as the last time we were in Australia.”
However, Chappell noted that he is concerned about whether Kohli can keep his emotions in check, especially after his heated dispute with Australia opener David Warner and batsman Steven Smith on the fourth day of the first Test.
“The one issue that has always clouded the future of Kohli as a captain raised its ugly head in Adelaide when his emotions got the better of him as a second on-field altercation erupted,” Chappell wrote. “Whereas in the first outbreak of hostilities Kohli remained calm and acted wisely in soothing some of his agitated team-mates, this time his frustration boiled over. He inflamed a debate that started with Rohit Sharma querying Smith’s method of kicking his off-spinners, and then refused to be placated by the umpires’ attempts to get the game back on to an even keel.
“This is a young Indian side, full of potential and the desire to establish its competitive credentials. As a player, Kohli has indicated he’ll be buoyed by the leadership duties, not weighed down by them. However, his petulance on day four raised doubts about his ability to provide the calm, thoughtful presence that could mould the team’s potential into a combative winner.”