India vs Australia: John Buchanan praises Virat Kohli’s leadership skills, feels his absence will impact visitors

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Former Australia coach John Buchanan has given his two cents on the leadership style of Virat Kohli and how Team India will fare in his absence in the upcoming Border–Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21.

Speaking with Sportstar ahead of India’s three-month tour of Australia, Buchanan said although Kohli had displayed only a supportive batting role in the famous 2-1 Test series win in Australia in 2018-19, his “real contribution” was “his leadership and captaincy”.

“Kohli has done an incredibly good job – irrespective of whether he is scoring runs or not. If we go back to 2019, (Cheteshwar) Pujara was the star of the series and Kohli made some contributions, so did (Ajinkya) Rahane… But Kohli’s real contribution is his leadership and captaincy and the way he instills greatness – not only to win games, but also in finding a way to beat teams,” Buchanan said.

It was under Kohli’s captaincy that India had managed to clinch a Test series in Australia for the first time since independence. While Pujara had scored 521 runs in four Tests, Kohli had played a cameo of 282 runs in the series

The coach, who guided the Australian cricket team from 1999 to 2007, added that he finds glimpses of Sourav Ganguly in the current India skipper. “Once Sourav took over, he instilled a different way of not only playing, but also a different way of just conducting themselves against strong oppositions like Australia.” He pointed out that like Ganguly, Kohli was doing the “same thing for the Indian team”.

This year, Kohli will be returning to India after playing the first Test in the series to be with his actress wife Anushka Sharma for the birth of their first child.

Buchanan thinks the Men in Blue will deeply feel his absence. “I think his absence in the final three Tests is going to play a pivotal part in the way the series plays out,” he added.

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