Virat Kohli doesn’t want power or leadership, says Sanjay Manjrekar

Written by Mohan Sharma

Former Indian cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar opened up on India’s star batter Virat Kohli during a recent interaction. Manjrekar feels that Kohli isn’t one who wants leadership or power and doesn’t have any scope of an unfulfilled dream when it comes to leadership after having led India for a long time across formats before Rohit Sharma’s current tenure. Kohli was recently seen in action during Asia Cup 2023, where Rohit Sharma-led India beat Sri Lanka in the final by ten wickets. He will feature in the third and final ODI between India and Australia with the series opener to be held on Friday (September 22).

While talking to journalist Vimal Kumar on his Youtube channel, Manjrekar spoke at length about similarities between Kohli and Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar and opined on the former not wanting power or leadership in the current Indian setup. 

Manjrekar said, “The one similarity between Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar is that both of them enjoy playing cricket. They want to be on the field. He was not part of the team for the game against Bangladesh but was still on the field. I don’t think Virat Kohli wants power or leadership.” He further opined, “He just wants to play and it looks like he enjoys being a part of the team. He captained the team for a very long time, so there is no scope for an unfulfilled dream. Being with the team, travelling with players, going to the ground, and being part of winning moments are more important to him than having power.”

Further, Manjrekar made a big claim whether Kohli can surpass Tendulkar’s Test century tally and added, “Sachin Tendulkar has 51 hundreds, 17 more than what Sunil Gavaskar finished with. For a good player, accumulating runs in ODIs is comparatively easy, as bowlers don’t always try to take a wicket. Tendulkar and Kohli are special because they also have a lot of Test hundreds. However, I believe it will be very difficult for Kohli to reach 51 Test centuries.”

Tendulkar ended his illustrious career with over 34,000 international runs and 100 tons overall. Kohli, at present, has amassed 13,027 runs in 280 ODIs, 8,676 runs in 111 Tests, and 4,008 runs in 115 T20Is for India. He is just two centuries away from equalling Tendulkar’s tally in ODIs (49) but remains far behind in Tests (with 29 hundreds).

Kohli will soon take part in his fourth ODI World Cup when the marquee event kicks off in India on October 05. 

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Mohan Sharma