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'A Strong Leader…', Philander Credits Virat Kohli For Uplifting Indian Fast Bowling

image-lsd9hsi8Virat Kohli (AP)

Former South African paceman Vernon Philander has credited Virat Kohli for making Team India into a fierce fast bowling unit. Under Kohli's Test leadership from late 2014 until 2022, the Indian team won the Test series in Australia and won key matches on tough England and South African tours.

Philander credits Virat Kohli for ‘propelling’ pacers

Virat Kohli took over Team India captaincy in Tests after MS Dhoni announced his retirement from the format in late 2014. Under Kohli's leadership, the Indian team registered 40 Test wins out of 68 matches, including notable triumphs in Australia, England and South Africa.

The Indian team also cultivated a number of fast bowlers under his reign. Former South African speedster Vernon Philander credited Kohli for 'propelling' his bowlers and for improving Team India's Test record in SENA countries. While speaking with the PTI, he said:

“Every time India comes here, they seem to be performing better than the previous tour. In the subcontinent, Indian spinners have been winning the games but It’s just good to see the Indian team winning in Australia. That’s a very positive sign for India to produce those sort of bowlers… It is also on the back of great leadership. Virat Kohli had been a strong leader who was propelling his bowlers to go and learn and get better.”

Vernon Philander also described Virat Kohli as the toughest batsman he has ever encountered in the game. The former speedster hailed the cricketer's mindset and character as a batsman, and he believes that Kohli can make life difficult for the opponents. He added:

“For me Virat has been the toughest batsman because of the way he conducts himself. As a bowler, he never gives you an opportunity to settle. From the pure mindset point of view, Virat is a very strong character and as a batsman, he makes life really difficult for the bowlers.”

Virat Kohli recently represented the Indian team in the T20I series against Afghanistan. While the cricketer was also slated to take the field in the subsequent Test series against the visiting English team, he opted himself out of the first two Tests citing personal reasons.