Ahead of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand, former Kiwi all-rounder Richard Hadlee heaped praise on Indian skipper Virat Kohli for being a “competitive" and “passionate" cricketer who has a “strong desire" to see his team succeed. India, under Kohli, has reached new heights by defeating Australia in their home country for the first time in a test series during this year’s Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“He is a proud player and a world class player - a delight to watch.There are millions of Indian fans who idolise him which puts great pressure on him," Hadlee said in an official ICC media release.
Hadlee, who is regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers, said Kohli has the responsibility of ensuring that Indian cricket remains competitive, however, he added, the fans need to understand that cricketers are also humans and that even “champions will fail from time to time".
Hadlee, on Kohli’s brand of aggressive cricket, said that any sport at the highest level is about competing, and gaining advantage over one’s opponent.The former New Zealand all-rounder underlinedthat there is a fine line between gamesmanship and things going too far. “Umpires and match referees will control this situation and penalties imposed if anything is unacceptable," he said.
India had reached the WTC final after defeating England in the four-match Test series earlier this year at home. India won the red-ball series 3-1 despite starting poorly and losing the first game by 227 runs.
Kohli is the most successful Test skipper for India, however, the team has not won any ICC title under his captaincy. The 32-year-old will be looking to claim his maiden ICC trophy as captain in the upcoming WTC final.
India and New Zealand will meet on June 18 for the ICC WTC final at Ageas Bowl, Southampton, England.