Indian players are scared under Virat Kohli: Shane Lee
Speaking further on India's captaincy, Lee said that had he been an Indian selector, he would have asked Kohli to focus on his batting.
Updated - Feb 1, 2021 3:43 pm
Former Australia cricketer Shane Lee has weighed in with his views over the ongoing debate surrounding Virat Kohli’s captaincy. In the wake of India’s triumph in Australia last month, several experts and fans have opined that Ajinkya Rahane should be made the Test captain permanently. Under Rahane’s captaincy, India came from behind to win the four-Test series in Australia by a margin of 2-1.
Kohli played only the first Test of the series before returning home to attend the birth of his first child. In his presence, India lost the first Test in Adelaide by eight wickets after being bundled for a humiliating total of 36 in the second innings. Not many had given India a chance of challenging Australia let alone winning the series after Kohli’s departure and a spate of injury setbacks.
However, Rahane marshalled his troop really well and showed remarkable captaincy. Despite missing a host of key players, the Rahane-led side went on to win two of the remaining three Tests while drawing the other one. Since the series ended, there are suggestions from several quarters to make Rahane captain and take the responsibility off Kohli’s shoulders.
Players are almost scared to put a foot out of line: Shane Lee
While hailing the India skipper as ‘one of the greatest batsmen of all time’, Shane Lee stated that Indian players are a bit ‘scared’ to play under Kohli. Lee said that while Kohli is revered by his teammates, his demand from the players make them scared. He further said that the same set of players remain pretty much relaxed when they play under Rahane.
“Look, I think for the team he is and I would have him as captain. Kohli is one of the greatest batsmen of all time. But I just feel that he is almost revered by the players within the team. They’re almost scared to put a foot out of line. He demanded absolute professionalism from the Indian team. The players had to be fit, they had to be great in field and good catching, but they almost appear a bit scared. I just see a really relaxed team under Rahane,” Lee, the older brother of Brett Lee, said as quoted by News18.
Speaking further on India’s captaincy, Lee said that had he been an Indian selector, he would have asked Kohli to focus on his batting. He suggested that Kohli playing solely as a batsman would be better for the team. At the same time, Lee admitted that it is unlikely that Kohli would step down as captain. Kohli will return to action later this week when India and England lock horns in the first Test in Chennai.
“Will Kohli give up the captaincy? I doubt it. If I was an Indian selector, and I’m not, but if I was, I would have Rahane captain the team and instead let Kohli go and do all his batting. And I think the team would function a lot better. But time would tell,” said Shane Lee, who played 45 ODIs for Australia.