David Gower, the former England captain and popular commentator, has picked India skipper Virat Kohli as the leader of his Test XI of current cricketers, which also features Joe Root, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith and all-rounder Ben Stokes. Calling Kohli and Stokes ‘immediate picks’, Gower went with India’s R Ashwin and Nathan Lyon of Australia as the two spinners in his line-up and explained why Kohli is his pick to captain the team.
“Ben Stokes and Virat Kohli will be the instant picks for him and there are no two ways about it. If a current day spinner is to be chosen it would be between Ravichandran Ashwin or Nathan Lyon,” Gower said on the SportsTiger’s show ‘Off-the-Field’.
“If I have to pick a captain for the team it will surely be Virat Kohli, what I like about Virat apart from his talent is his passion and absolute drive. Cricket is still a game where you can be a brilliant individual within the team but too much of individuality can also be harmful but Virat is an extraordinary individual contributing to the team.”
Kohli has been India’s most successful Test captain of all time, leading the team to 33 wins from 55 matches, losing 12. Under him, India beat Australia 2-1 in the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which was their first Test series win on Australia soil in 71 years.
In the past, Kohli has been vocal about his fondness towards playing Test cricket. In August of 2018, Kohli had told Wisden Cricket Monthly that Test cricket is the most beautiful format, and reiterated it earlier this year in June when he posted a picture on Instagram with the caption reading: “Nothing comes close to playing an intense game in whites. What a blessing to be able to play test cricket for India.”
Gower feels there is nothing better for the health of Test cricket that one of the best batsmen in the world lending his support towards it. “Virat Kohli as the leading player of the world calling test cricket as the toughest and most important form is great PR for the format,” he said.