Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly feels that Virat Kohli's batting was affected by his emotional outbursts in the recently concluded Test series against Australia and he is also hoping that Kohli should cool down to score big again.
In an exclusive column for the ICC website, Ganguly wrote, “Against Australia, probably he (Kohli) was so consumed by wanting to win as captain that he let his emotions affect his batting. This will also serve as a lesson for Virat. He's such a precocious talent, I hope he cools down and gets back to scoring big again.”
In the end, India outplayed Australia 2-1 at home in one of the most hardly-fought series in recent times. Kohli was going through a purple patch of his career before this series as he became the only cricketer to smash four double centuries in four consecutive series. He also scored 1457 runs in 13 matches during this season.
Ganguly is one of the most successful captains of the Indian team, rated Kohli as a passionate skipper. He wrote, "There are two Virats for me. The batsman and the captain. The batsman surely is one of the best in the world because he has set high standards for himself, both in terms of fitness and the hunger to score big. The captain is more passionate and more of a leader than anything else. He wants to win and win every day and while it may not be possible always, I see Virat not settling for anything that isn't No.1."
Praising other Indian players like KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, and Umesh Yadav, Ganguly wrote, "More than the results, I enjoyed the journey, watching how players like KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja and Umesh Yadav gained in confidence and matched the two champions, Virat and Ravichandran Ashwin.”
He further added, "But the one who stood out was Cheteshwar Pujara. I remember when he was dropped for a Test in West Indies last year, I had said Pujara was a special batsman and shouldn't have been dropped. A small matter of 1,316 runs has come from his bat this season and Pujara will be the most critical for Virat when India start traveling outside of the sub-continent."
Ganguly also feels that this team has all the capabilities to win in overseas conditions as well, he wrote, "And having watched the last 13 home Tests, I hope Virat and his team really has the potential to win anywhere - in or outside India. I was sitting at home around lunchtime on Day Three when Australia began its second innings. Over the next hour or so, I watched such a great piece of fast and hostile bowling by the two Indians, Umesh Yadav, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The way they got the Australians hoping and succumbing to the pace, I am so pleased for Virat.”
Former Indian skipper also said head coach Anil Kumble is doing a commendable job, he wrote, "When the BCCI appointed a three-member panel that had Tendulkar, Laxman and me to help in the process of selecting a coach, Anil's vision was as decisive as his bowling used to be. He wanted India to win in India obviously, but outside of India too and while he knew it was easier said than done, his assessment of the situation was superb.”
Ganguly concluded by praising Steve Smith's century in the opening Test in Pune, he wrote, "Not because India didn't play well but because Australia's captain Steve Smith decided to make the transition from a good batsman to a great batsman during this series. The century he scored in Pune ranks amongst one of the best by a visiting batsman in India - and I have seen many.”