Kapil Dev and Virat Kohli. (Getty Images)
MUMBAI: Former India batsman Kris Srikkanth has said Virat Kohli and Kapil Dev’s approach to the game are similar in the way they wear their hearts on their sleeves and are aggressive.
“Virat Kohli and Kapil Dev’s approach are the same. Positive and aggressive. Go for the win first,” Srikkanth said on Cricket Connected on Star Sports 1 Tamil.
Kohli is the current India captain while Kapil led India to its first World Cup glory in 1983.
On the show, 1983 World Cup-winning member Srikkanth along with Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and host Bhavna Balakrishnan discuss how the World Cup inspired an entire generation to take up the sport and put India on the world map.
With the odds stacked against India, captain Kapil led the team by example in the match against Zimbabwe scoring an unbeaten 175 which was probably one the best individual ODI performances at that time.
Srikkanth said: “At that time, they were saying our odds of winning were 1 in 1000. But Kapil Dev was the main man behind that win. The guy has got a tremendous amount of confidence, self-belief and positive approach.”
L. Sivaramakrishnan, who burst onto the scene in the 1985 World Series in Australia, played under another great Sunil Gavaskar. LS said about Gavaskar’s influence: “Gavaskar’s captaincy and his man management. I was only 19-years-old and I needed guidance and Gavaskar gave me that guidance perfectly.”
Speaking about Srikkanth’s captaincy, LS said, “Cheeka was an aggressive captain. He provided a lot of results. He was very proactive. A player like Tendulkar made his debut under Cheeka’s captaincy. Cheeka’s encouragement to Sachin Tendulkar at that young age gave him confidence and he went on to become the world’s best batsmen. We’ve had a lot of inspirational captains, but I always feel Cheeka could have captained more.”
After Kapil Dev led India to its first ever World Cup triumph in 1983, he not only inspired many cricketers but also inspired many leaders.
After 1983, India reached the World Cup final for the first time in 2003, led by Sourav Ganguly. Speaking about Ganguly, Srikkanth said: “Ganguly was proactive. He was the guy who was able to form the team combination. Like how in 1976 Clive Lloyd formed the winning combination (for the West Indies team), Sourav put the correct team together and then inspired them. That’s why Ganguly was a successful captain, even in abroad conditions. They started winning abroad. Ganguly is a born leader.”