Graeme Smith says Virat Kohli must control his emotions to ensure his longevity as India captain.
At a SuperSport breakfast on Monday, the former Proteas captain highlighted Kohli’s attitude as one of his flaws.
‘When I look at him, I don’t know if he is a long-term captain option for India. His performances [with the bat] speak for themselves, but whether he can get the best out of the players around him is the question.’
Smith’s solution is for the India captain to have someone who can guide him on the field.
‘When I look at Virat, I think he needs someone in his corner who can constructively challenge him and help him grow.
‘He has all the capabilities tactically, he’s good at knowing his own game, he sets a real standard on the field for everyone else and leads by example.
‘I think it’s on the emotional side [he needs to improve], he gets very fired up without thinking about how that affects other people.
‘If he had a very constructive person in his environment, who is able to have good conversations with him to make him think and challenge his ideas in a constructive way – not in an angry-aggressive way – to help him open his eyes to other possibilities; that would make him a very good leader.’
The ‘intensity’ Kohli brings to the game might be good for some players, but others might not respond positively to his passionate approach, and Smith explained the importance of this.
‘Virat is an outstanding player,’ Smith added. ‘He loves the confrontation and intensity which brings the best out of him.
‘Sometimes as a leader, you have to consider how that impacts others in the environment. That’s an area of his leadership that he needs to cope with. Sometimes his reactions to certain situations can impact the team.
‘We all know how powerful he is in cricket. He needs to find a level where he can connect with all his players, to help the India team become as successful as he is.
‘Sometimes, you can be the best player in the world and love that intensity, but you don’t think about what your teammates are going through.’
Photo: SuperSport PR