Mohammad Kaif slams Virat Kohli for not picking Shreyas Iyer in the first T20I against Australia
Iyer didn't play the first T20I and Sanju Samson batted at number four.
Updated - Dec 6, 2020 10:28 am
Former Indian batsman Mohammad Kaif slammed the Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli for not backing the players in their bad times the way former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly used to do in his playing days. Kaif made this statement after Shreyas Iyer was dropped from the Playing XI of the first T20 International against Australia. Iyer was seen struggling against the Australian bowling unit in the three-match ODI series.
Kaif highlighted that Iyer had done well at number four position for India during the New Zealand tour earlier this year. Also, he has decently performed for his IPL franchise Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“Shreyas Iyer had become your main player at one point. That he is your No.4 batsman, who finishes the game. Whether you talk about the IPL or go back to the New Zealand series, there also he finished games at No.4. He scored 50 not out or 33 not out, he was playing well at the No.4 position.” Kaif said during a discussion on Sony Sports network.
The former middle-order batsman also made an observation that dropping players after poor performance in two or three games has become a trend in the Indian team. The players have also understood this mindset of skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri.
“He had two or three bad innings in the ODI, so they didn’t play him in the first T20I. This is the culture of the Indian team and we have all understood that. I am not surprised that he is dropped. This is the sort of thinking of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri and the players are also understanding that. The players also know that they will get just two innings, this is the sort of team it is.”
Mohammad Kaif compares Sourav Ganguly with Virat Kohli
Further in the interaction, Kaif reckoned that the players still speak highly of former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly as he backed them to the core during their cricket career. Thus, Virat Kohli should think of leaving his legacy as a captain. There should be players who credit Virat for making their career in the international circuit.
“When we used to play with Dada, it was not like this. In Dada’s time you knew that if he has picked one player, he will play him till the time he feels he will deliver. He backed the players a lot. That is why Virat Kohli will have to think in the coming time to leave his legacy as a captain. Why we talk about Dada or why does Virender Sehwag talk about Dada? Because Dada has made that impact. Sourav Ganguly has backed us, he made a team.
“So, when Virat Kohli leaves after 8-10 years, there should be players who take Virat Kohli’s name that because of him they started playing international cricket and became such big players. He has already become a great player by scoring runs but to become a great leader, he needs to think about developing players. Kohli needs to leave behind that legacy,” Mohammad Kaif concluded.