Skipper Kohli must now walk the talk | Australia vs India, 4th Test at Sydney

Related Links: India Tour of Australia 2014/15 | Virat Kohli Player Page

So many have been asking for it, and now it has happened, albeit suddenly and in controversial circumstances. Virat Kohli will lead the team in 4th Test at Sydney, with MS Dhoni having announced his retirement with immediate effect from Tests. India needed a change for sure, and it goes without saying that Kohli’s elevation as leader is a step in the right direction. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was looking completely ragged as Test leader for over three seasons now. In the only Test that Virat Kohli led at Adelaide, with Dhoni absent due to injury, Kohli showed spark as both leader and batsman even though India ended up on the losing side.

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Above photo: Virat Kohli

The real Test for Virat Kohli the leader however begins at Sydney. It is a different matter being a stop-gap captain, but now it is clear that he will be the full-time leader in Tests. He has got the job deservedly, but Kohli will now have to walk the talk. Ever since arriving in Australia, Kohli has spoken of being aggressive and taking on the Aussies. He has done so, and while individually, the tactics have paid off for him, the team has still ended up on the losing side. Under MS Dhoni, Team India have developed a culture of being relatively silent on the field, and Kohli already began the job of breaking that barrier at Adelaide.

There is nothing wrong in being aggressive per se, but Kohli needs to set a standard as to what kind of aggression will define team India. As of now, the tactics of intimidating the opponents like David Warner and Mitchell Johnson have only backfired only India as both made the hosts pay heavily, having been given a wake up call. If the aggression is working against the team, it clearly is a tactic that needs to be relooked at. India can be aggressive, but sledging the Australians is clearly not going to work.

India need to show positive intent through their performances, which is exactly what Kohli along with Ajinkya Rahane did during their breathtaking partnership at Melbourne. Kohli may have stated that being aggressive has helped him succeed. But, he clearly hasn’t taken into consideration the fact that he was extremely lucky at Melbourne during his duel with Mitchell Johnson. He could have been dismissed more than once during that ‘aggressive’ phase. Yes, Kohli needs to be aggressive, for that is his nature. But, now that he is leader, he needs to take the team along as well. He definitely needs to tone down a bit else, as Sunil Gavaskar rightly pointed out, things could backfire.

Australia vs India, 4th Test at Sydney begins on January 6th, 2015. Here is the Schedule of India’s Tour of Australia 2014/15.

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