Spotlight shifts to new Test skipper Virat Kohli

Spotlight shifts to new Test skipper Virat Kohli

Spotlight shifts to new Test skipper Virat Kohli

Three days after India captain MS Dhoni surprised the cricket world with his sudden retirement from Test cricket, the focus is slowly shifting towards the new skipper and how India would make a fresh start with Virat Kohli at the helm when final Test commences here on January 6.

With Dhoni opting to stay away from not only the cricket field but also off it, as he didn't attend the high-tea organised on Sunday by the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott for both the teams, Kohli has been hogging all the limelight.

Dhoni's retirement technically means he is no longer a part of the Test squad, but he was invited nevertheless.

In his absence, the spotlight was on Kohli, who posed for camerapersons with his Australian counterpart Steven Smith and the Prime Minister, and later in the captain's photo-op.

But even before Dhoni's retirement, Kohli was the centre of attention in Australia, but not because in the manner in he led in the first Test at Adelaide, but for his aggressive run-ins with the Aussie players in the last two Tests.

"Virat Kohli is a fascinating personality. He is very aggressive and looks to get under the opposition's skin. At the same time, he also doesn't mind when they talk back to him. In fact he thrives on it and relishes when they sledge him," said former Australian fast bowler Damien Fleming.

"I wouldn't sledge Kohli if I were bowling to him. He will only use it to fire himself up and use it against you," he added.

Kohli scored two centuries in the first Test at the Adelaide Oval, leading India to an almost improbable win. The former Australian international believes that the new captain will be an improvement on the one who exited the scene.

"Dhoni isn't too volatile on the field and he doesn't sledge. When there is hostility in the field, he is a very calming influence, which is good. But he also let the game drift away and didn't adapt quickly in Test cricket.

"Kohli will be a reactive captain if not better and his batting traits will help him. He stands out of the crease, taking LBW out of the equation. It is a small example how Kohli is a thinking player and he evolves as the game progresses, which is how a captain should be," Fleming said.

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