Virat Kohli has benefited as an international skipper only because of the inputs given by Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni. (Image credit: Twitter)
There is no doubting that Virat Kohli's abilities as a batsman are brilliant. Across formats, he has shattered plenty of records. As captain, he broke MS Dhoni's record for most wins in Tests following the West Indies series. However, in limited overs cricket, Kohli has stumbled in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy and in the semi-final of the 2019 World Cup in England. Following the end of the World Cup, there have been some question marks raised on his captaincy ability. Even as captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise in the IPL, Kohli has struggled to gain success as a skipper.
Gautam Gambhir, who played with Kohli and who recently retired from all forms of cricket, has said Kohli has achieved a certain degree of success in international cricket only because of the presence of players like Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni. Rohit has captained admirably in Kohli's absence while Kohli still continued to look up to Dhoni when it comes to leading a side.
"Still a long way to go for him (Kohli). Kohli was very good in the last World Cup (in England) but he has a long way to go. He captains so well in international cricket because he has got Rohit Sharma, he had MS Dhoni for a long time. Captaincy credentials are noticed when you are leading a franchise, when you do not have other players supporting you," Gambhir said.
Gambhir, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles, has said Rohit and Dhoni's achievements for Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings make them stand out. "I have been honest whenever I have spoken about this. See what Rohit Sharma has achieved for Mumbai Indians, see what Dhoni has achieved for Chennai Super Kings. If you compare that with RCB, the results are there for everyone to see," Gambhir said.
The left-hander played a vital part in India's two major ICC championship wins in the 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup. However, those contributions almost did not happen. Gambhir revealed that he almost quit the game of cricket after not being picked in the 2007 World Cup squad but he just managed to hang in there. As fate would have it, Gambhir top scored in the finals of 2007 and 2011 made him one of the best.
"In 2007, when I missed the 50-over World Cup, that was the lowest moment in my cricketing career. I had given up on cricket. Before that, I had missed both U-15 and U-19 World Cups. In 2007, I thought I was the closest to playing the World Cup, but when they did not include me in the squad, I had almost given up on cricket. Then I was chosen in World T20 in 2007 and I got dismissed for a duck in the first match against Pakistan. But as fate has it, I finished as the leading run-scorer in the World Cup and we ended up winning the tournament so one should never give up," Gambhir said.