No need for Kohli to behave differently, says Aussie coach Whatmore

Ajit Vijaykumar 21:45 21/12/2018
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Tim Paine and Virat Kohli had a lot to say to each other in Perth.

Australian veteran coach Dav Whatmore insists India captain Virat Kohli does not need to change his behavior in any way and added that the skipper and his players are being criticised unnecessarily.

India lost a feisty Perth Test to Australia with captain Kohli and his counterpart Tim Paine embroiled in numerous verbal clashes. The Indian skipper has been criticised for his behavior and his confrontational approach to the game.

But Whatmore, who was in Dubai to oversee a special winter training camp by Kricket’s Spero, said what happened in the Perth Test was within permissible limits and Kohli shouldn’t change the approach that has brought him and India so much success.

When asked if things had gone too far when it came banter between the sides, Whatmore – talking to Sport360 – said: “Absolutely not. It’s a storm in a tea cup. If you look at the banter that happened between the two captains, it was done right in front of the umpire. Did the umpires take any action? No. So let’s just move on. It was interesting for other people to look at and write about.”

Former Australia Test cricketer Whatmore, who has coached various teams like Sri Lanka and Pakistan with distinction, believes Kohli does not need to behave any differently.

“I don’t think (Kohli should behave differently). Kohli has had tremendous success as a leader with his performances on the field for India. Why would you want to change that?”

Whatmore, who is currently coaching the Kerala state Ranji Trophy team in India, said it was harsh to suggest India need to have a relook at their leadership group if they fail to succeed in the remaining Tests. Former captain Sunil Gavaskar has said that the Indian management led by Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri made selection blunders in South Africa, England and now in Australia and that the board needs to see if the team is benefiting from their leadership group.

“That’s a bit harsh,” Whatmore said. “It’s an easy game when you watch it on the TV. Commentators and those who write in the papers, are paid to do that. It makes for good reading when it comes from Gavaksar, the same man who is good friends with Shastri.”

Many cricket experts and fans believe India made a mistake by going in with four fast bowlers in the Perth Test following injury to off-spinner Ravi Ashwin and think someone like a Ravindra Jadeja would have offered more reliable spin and batting depth than pacer Umesh Yadav. But Whatmore does not think it was that big a mistake.

“India went with four fast bowlers instead of three and one spinner. Kohli is getting it from the Indian press from all quarters. I don’t think it was that much of a mistake. Jadeja is a different spinner to (Nathan) Lyon. We will never know. Maybe it would have helped their batting but you wouldn’t pick a spinner for his batting. I don’t think they deserve the criticism that they have been getting,” the 64-year-old added.

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