Bangalore: Many see Virat Kohli as the next India captain. But many others believe that he lacks the maturity to handle the immense pressure that comes with the job.
Royal Challengers Bangalore coach Ray Jennings agrees to both view points. While Jennings hopes to see Kohli leading India to the No.1 position in world cricket in the next five years, he has warned that such a feat is only possible if he maintains his cool while captaining the national side.
“Virat knows he has a hot head and also understands he needs to look at that... He is young enough to accept these issues and I think he needs time to rectify those issues. He is not a stupid cricketer… He is a smart guy and has ambition to captain India,” Jennings said.
“If he makes the same mistakes consistently, you are going to find out that the system is not going to buy into his style of behaviour or character. If Indian cricket is smart, it needs need to get a group of people around Virat and mentor him for a period of time.
“I don’t think you get leaders… He is a leader and I have seen him change. Last year he didn’t spend as much time in the gym. He is a gym fanatic and leads from the front. Hopefully, after five years I can sit back and see Virat lead India to No. 1 position in the world,” Jennings said.
“As a leader, you will find people around Virat benefiting from his fighting spirit. Six years ago India never had that fighting spirit. Then there was one or two tours where Rahul Dravid, Harbhajan Singh and Sachin Tendulkar got together and tried to show the world the fighting spirit. I think Virat can take on any opposition in the world, but having said that, he could probably could be his own downfall as well and he needs to understand what is his strength and weaknesses,” he added.
According to Jennings, since Chris Gayle, Kohli and AB de Villiers use a lot of balls up front, it becomes very difficult for the young Royal Challengers players to get opportunities. “However, I don’t mind if three of my big guns are facing most of the 120 balls and helping us win matches,” he said.