India’s Virat Kohli is among the best players of his generation and might be the best international captain on the scene right now.
As a young skipper, Quinton de Kock could learn a lot from the way Kohli goes about his business as India’s leader.
Kohli may be considerably more vocal than De Kock, but with bat in hand and in the field, he also leads by example. As the Proteas’ best white-ball batsman, De Kock is in position to be the standard-bearer.
As a more laid-back personality, De Kock is unlikely to deliver a withering stare to match Kohli’s. The Proteas skipper has to make sure that the standard and intensity of the team’s play is maintained at all times, though, which might be his greatest challenge.
Kohli’s willingness to take breaks from the game when required should be a lesson to both De Kock and the Proteas team management. Franchise cricket is awash with talented wicketkeeper-batsmen who might benefit from stepping in for De Kock. De Kock has more reason than the India skipper to require rest given the rigours of keeping wicket in all three formats.
The India teams he leads, and Kohli himself, display a quality that is essential for sporting greatness – resilience. So often when India are beaten or suffer a setback, Kohli inspires a big response.
Kohli directs matters for India in the field, but more importantly, he so often takes charge with the bat. The India skipper has scored an incredible 21 ODI centuries as captain and holds a host of batting records. He is India’s go-to man in a run chase.
De Kock holds a very different batting role in T20I cricket, but in the ODI game, the skipper could improve his conversion rate and make a habit of posting ‘daddy tons’.
Kohli’s relentless progress as a player is a terrific example for anyone who plays sport at the highest level, and if the Proteas are to be an elite team, they will need their skipper to keep on raising his game.
De Kock will get a chance to study Kohli up close in this month’s brief ODI tour. The Proteas face India three times in seven days, starting with the 12 March contest at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala.
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