Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt questions Virat Kohli’s captaincy credentials

Written by Abhishek Patil

Reacting to Virat Kohli’s inability to win ICC titles as captain, former Pakistan batsman Salman Butt has opined that, according to him, Rohit Sharma is a better captain and a natural leader. Questions are being raised about Virat Kohli’s captaincy after India’s loss in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand recently. The 32-year-old is yet to win an ICC title as skipper. With him at the helm, India earlier went down in the 2017 Champions Trophy final and the 2019 World Cup semi-final.

In an interaction on his YouTube channel, Butt stated that since Virat Kohli doesn’t have a big win under his belt people are going to question his captaincy credentials. He added:

“Personally, I feel Rohit Sharma is a better captain (than Virat Kohli). I had observed his captaincy in depth during the Asia Cup (2018). The way he operated as stand-in captain, he looked very natural. Coming back to Virat Kohli, India were on top for five years but sadly couldn’t win the biggest match of all, so people are bound to raise questions.”

According to Butt, history will only remember captains who have won major titles. He admitted that the luck factor also matters a little, which hasn’t gone Virat Kohli’s way, pointing out to the no-ball in the 2017 Champions Trophy final. Butt elaborated:

“You can be a very good captain but if you don’t win any title, masses won’t remember you. May be you are a good captain and have good plans but your bowler may not be able to execute it. So luck has to be on your side as well. People only remember those who win tournaments. Sometimes you may not be a great captain but your team may be very good and you may end up winning a major title. So that does not define a captain but for the world, of course, a good captain is one who has won big events.”

Analyzing Virat Kohli’s captaincy, the former Pakistan skipper stated that while he is a cricketer committed to the cause of winning, his over-aggression can be misinterpreted, especially when India don’t win. He also felt that calm captains have a better chance of winning. Butt continued:

“Virat Kohli has not won any ICC title neither has he won the IPL. He is a top-class cricketer, has excellent body language and is aggressive. His energy level is at a different level, and it is evident that he wants to give his best every time he steps out in the middle. But captains should be subtle and not fiery. We kept hearing during the WTC final, that it is a battle between fire (Virat Kohli) and ice (Kane Williamson). Most top-class captains who have won titles were cool or gesture-less at crunch moments. Virat Kohli is a man full of gestures. Had he won, he would have been praised no end. But…”

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Abhishek Patil