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Virat Kohli’s legacy will be shaped by upcoming overseas tours

Virat Kohli managed a ton against England but couldn't save the match. (AFP PHOTO / MARTY MELVILLE)
Roar Guru
8th December, 2017
4

Virat Kohli took over the captaincy from MS Dhoni during the Australian tour in 2014/15 when the latter decided to retire in the middle of an overseas tour.

Kohli though impressed one and all with his aggressive mindset and almost pulled off an unlikely chase in his first game as captain.

Since that tour though India have predominantly played at home and the South African tour early next year will be the Indian captain’s first real challenge.

Virat Kohli has had a great run as captain of the side over the last couple of years but most of his series wins have come at home except for three away series wins in Sri Lanka and West Indies.

Even though his start as the Test captain of India has been brilliant Virat knows that the next year and a half will determine his legacy as the leader.

The first big test for Virat will be to make the right selections in the test X1. The team management has been criticized a lot recently for their bizarre selection policies. The captain himself has made some questionable statements regarding the same.

The recent Test series against Sri Lanka also gave us a peek into those selections which probably might come back to bite India when they travel outside Asia.

India's captain Virat Kohli

(AFP PHOTO / SAEED KHAN)

The biggest decision Virat has to make is to decide who his two openers will be. His preference for Shikhar Dhawan seems apparent but again KL Rahul has done nothing wrong to be dropped from the team.

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Murali Vijay who made a comeback to the XI has sealed his spot with a couple of hundreds so it leaves a battle between KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan for the second opener spot.

The management needs to determine who among the two will make the right choice for the conditions they are playing in.

The other decision the captain has to make is whether to play six batsmen or not. He preferred Rohit Sharma in the X1 against Sri Lanka and played only four bowlers at home.

The decision probably stemmed from the absence of Hardik Pandya but again, it will be interesting to see what combination the captain decides to play in South Africa.

The other spot which has been a topic of interest in the spin bowling spot in the X1. India have Ravi Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav as the three spinners and the team management has to make a call as to who they want in the X1.

The pace attack seems settled as Bhuvneshwar Kumar will return after a break and him along with Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma will most likely play the first test in South Africa.

There are lots of questions in front of the team management and there wasn’t any effort to address these concerns in the just concluded series.

Virat Kohli will know that he needs to make the right decisions as the captain of the side to have a chance to challenge a strong South African outfit which will be boosted by the arrival of AB De Villiers and Dale Steyn.

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The young Indian team will be on the road for next year and a half and will tour England, Australia New Zealand and South Africa. It is not going to be easy for Virat’s team but again if the captain makes the right calls this team does have the capability to cause a few upsets.

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