Both Virat Kohli and Joe Root will obviously be crucial to their team’s prospects in the India-England Tests beginning Friday in Chennai. For Root, though, the series is going to be his bigger test as a captain, feels Charlotte Edwards.
“Kohli and Root are both world-class batsmen, so they share that common theme. Root has grown into his role as England captain and been successful so far, but the coming days will be a big test for him, which he too will admit,” Charlotte, who led the England women’s team to three Ashes wins and a World Cup double (50-over World Cup and T20 World Cup) in 2009, told The Telegraph from London.
Root’s performance will certainly be pivotal to England in the series, as Charlotte thinks how well he picks up the length of the ball will also determine his success in this long tour.
“He’s getting better as a captain. It’s a great sign for England that he’s also scoring runs consistently, but this is going to be his most important year as captain,” Charlotte, who represented England in 23 Tests, 191 ODIs and 95 T20Is, pointed out.
“He’s undoubtedly one of the best players of spin bowling and hopefully he’ll continue with the form he showed in Sri Lanka. But most important in this series will be his picking of the length of the ball going back and forward, and obviously how perfectly he keeps playing the sweep,” she added.
As for Kohli, he’s back to leading a side that is brimming with confidence after a historic series victory in Australia. The players expressed themselves very well under Ajinkya Rahane, who led India for close to a month in Australia, since Kohli was out on paternity leave.
So how much of an issue could it be for the players now that they have to re-adapt to Kohli’s ways? “Kohli has been leading this team for a number of years now, so the players are fully used to his ways.
“I can’t see any problem for India as long as he and Rahane are there. They work well together and India need to see that as a positive as they’ve now got two outstanding leaders,” Charlotte, currently into coaching, said.
“Besides, players adapt quite well nowadays, thanks to franchise cricket, where they have to play under different captains.”
However, being approachable and not dictator-like are among the attributes of an ideal captain which help the team gel as a unit, Charlotte said.
“Among other things, you need to have a good relationship with the players and understand what makes them tick, because there are 11 different individuals in a team.
“Also, be approachable as captain and don’t act like a dictator. You need to listen to your players and be a good decision-maker too,” Charlotte said.