Kohli is an absolute champion, says Gilchrist

Kohli is an absolute champion, says Gilchrist

TWO OF A KIND Former Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist (left) and former India opener Virender Sehwag at a promotional event in Bengaluru on Sunday. DH PHOTO/ S K DINESH

For a batsman with impeccable records under his belt, Virat Kohli faced a rare pressure situation ahead of the England series. After a torrid time at the Old Blighty in 2014, it was a chance for Kohli to bury the ghosts and he has done it with the usual swagger. 

The Indian skipper has plundered 593 runs far with an innings left in the five-Test series, standing tall amidst an otherwise ordinary batting effort from his team. Adam Gilchrist, the former Australia wicketkeeper, said he expected Kohli to fire in the series. 

"I am not at all surprised at Kohli's performance," Gilchrist said at a promotional event here on Sunday. "He is an absolute champion. I think it was probably the first time in his career his capabilities of playing in a foreign land were questioned. Now he has put that out of the equation." 

Kohli's sensational effort hasn't stopped England from dominating India and clinching the series. "It's been a losing series for India but it also shows how impressive Kohli has been. To produce such high quality batting in difficult scenarios in all five games isn't easy," he said. 

The young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who made his debut in the Nottingham Test, is seen as one of India's options to fill the void left by Mahendra Singh Dhoni in Tests. Gilchrist felt the 20-year-old should be given a decent run.

"He (Pant) looks like an exciting prospect, a bit like Quinton de Kock type of player. The way he bats and keeps," Gilchrist noted. 

"It’s a challenging situation for India now that Dhoni isn't there (in Tests). We faced such a situation when Shane Warne finished his career. It might take chopping and changing. I just guess selectors need to understand about consistency in selection. They should allow the players to settle at the top level. If you change too many times, it can leave a psychological scar in players’ minds and that might affect their ability to produce their best," he explained.

India's overseas struggle in Tests was once again evident in this series. Gilchrist felt India were at their best in the early 2000s. "India travelled well in the early 2000s, 2004 in Australia and in 2008 they challenged us. Obviously, that was one of the best ever India teams, with that batting line up. They had great spinners in Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble. So there are moments for each nations but currently many teams don’t travel well but it doesn’t bother me too much. Even we couldn’t win in India, we came in 2001 and we came close. I think in 2004 we changed our mindsets and didn’t attack like we would. So you have to learn from those failings." 




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