Although Virat Kohli has two years of experience as Test skipper where he produced 14 wins, 2 losses and 6 draws in 22 Tests, he will start from scratch when he leads India in the limited-overs series against England. As a full-time skipper across all formats, Kohli’s plate will be full and he has to perform exceptionally well with the bat to set an example for others to follow. However, there are few challenges ahead of Virat Kohli before he achieves the same level of success like he has done in Test cricket recently . Let’s have a look.
Giving a spot to MS Dhoni that is in best interests of the team: Of late, there has been a lot of discussion regarding the position Dhoni should bat in limited-overs cricket. Dhoni promoted himself to No 4 when he was skipper. Will Kohli follow the same? Dhoni has stressed his inability to rotate strike and finish off games as the reason for his promotion. But will Kohli buy that argument? Will Kohli like Dhoni to continue as finisher till India find a new person for that role? Or, Kohli would like his former captain to bat at No 4 and take control of the game? Kohli needs to sort out this dilemma.
Change in strategy: Test cricket helps you make comeback if you have a bad session or two. But limited-overs cricket will give limited opportunities to make comeback. If you lose the momentum, it will be all downhill for the team. Hence, Kohli needs to prepare fresh strategy in his role as skipper in limited-overs cricket.
Rotate strike bowlers such as R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja: Both the spinners have been picked up for the limited-overs series against England. Kohli knows that there are five more Tests to go at home. And Jadeja-Ashwin combo and their availability is crucial for the team’s success. So, Kohli has to make sure they are not overbowled and kept fresh for bigger challenges ahead. He needs to rotate his bowlers carefully so that not only the series is in the bag, but also that the bowlers are fresh and raring to go for the upcoming Test series.
Manage his heavy workload: Virat Kohli knows he is the best batsman of his team and he needs to fire consistently to get the desired results. He has done it extremely well till now. But with the added responsibility of leading the team in limited-overs, Kohli’s plate will be full. He has to lead from the front in limited-overs as well like he has done in Test cricket, if he wants India to be the top team across all formats.
Find a new finisher: This is the biggest challenge ahead of Virat Kohli. It’s obvious Dhon is in the twilight of his career and his finishing skill is on the wane. Yuvraj Singh’s presence in the squad gives a chance to Kohli to try the southpaw as the finisher. But Yuvi at 35 is not growing any younger. Kohli needs to groom a young cricketer for the role of finisher in the longer run. It won’t be a surprise that like a self-less captain Kohli choose to drop himself down the order to finish the job. But India lack a strong top order at the moment for Kohli to take such a decision. Hence, grooming a new, young finisher will be must in Kohli’s mind.