New Delhi: Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram has said in-form Virat Kohli should not be rushed into Indian captaincy but advised Mahendra Singh Dhoni to relieve himself of the burden of leading the side in at least one of the three formats.
“As far as blooding young Virat Kohli as a captain in smaller formats is concerned, I think that should just wait. The guy is in the form of his life. He has been India’s most consistent batsman over the past 18 months or so,” Akram said.
“Let him enjoy his game and not put any other responsibility on him at the moment. Kohli must not be burdened with team selection issues and other important decision making matters,” he added.
Coming back to Dhoni, Akram believed quitting leadership responsibility in one format would help the 31-year-old to focus and enjoy the game more.
“I am not surprised that questions are being raised about Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s leadership skills after India failed to reach the semis of the World T20 for the third time in a row.
“Perhaps, Dhoni must take some time out and assess himself as a captain. He himself is the best judge of his skills as a leader. There could be additional pressure on him as a leader in all three formats of the game.
“I think if he drops captaincy in one of the formats then he will be able to focus and enjoy his game more. I still feel he is one of the best players and finishers in limited overs cricket,” Akram was quoted as saying by a leading sports website.
As far as Gautam Gambhir was concerned, Akram hoped the out-of-form batsman would turn things around while leading the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Champions League T20.
“If you take my team, Kolkata Knight Riders, Gautam Gambhir will like to put the disappointments of the ICC World T20 behind him quickly. I hope our skipper can turn it around.
“Gambhir needs matches to get his confidence back, and my gut feeling is that the responsibility of leading the side will bring the best out of him. He will play a vital role for KKR and I back him to do well in spite of seamer-friendly conditions in South Africa.”
Talking about the prospects of IPL teams in the CLT20, he said the presence of South African players will benefit them greatly.
“All four sides – KKR, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians – have South African T20 specialists in their ranks and that will greatly benefit these sides.
“The local players will share their experience on how to play on those tracks and how the pitches will behave at this time of the year.
“For example, a Jacques Kallis will be able to advise his KKR teammates on how to go about setting up a target and what target could prove defendable, etc.