Impressed with the aggressive brand of cricket from Virat Kohli, says Wessels

[caption id="attachment_61144" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Former South Africa captain feel Virat Kohli is too good a batsman to come good in the remainder of series. Former South Africa captain feel Virat Kohli is too good a batsman to come good in the remainder of series.[/caption]

Debasis Sen, Cape Town: Former South African captain Kepler Wessels on Saturday said Virat Kohli is too good a batsman to be amongst runs in the remainder of the series. The Indian captain was dismissed cheaply after edging out a ball from Morkel outside the off stumps.

The 60 year old former cricketer who has had the distinction of playing for both Australia and South Africa spoke exclusively to


Q Talk us about the dismissal of Virat in the first innings?

Well the South Africans will definitely target him in that fourth stumps channel outside off stump and get that ball to bounce. They feel they have got a chance there to get him out early in the innings. You know he is a good player and he will find his way out to counter that.

Q What is your take on Virat Kohli both as a batsman and a captain?

I think he is terrific and I like the aggressive brand of cricket he plays. I like the way he can turn a match and the impact he can has across all three formats. He is definitely one of the best batsmen at the moment.

Q Where do you rate him compared to the likes of Steve Smith, Joe Root and Kane Williamson?

Look it’s always difficult to compare players because they play under different conditions, in different circumstances and also for different teams. They all have been superb in modern day cricket today. Virat kohli more adventurous probably more so than the other three, Steve Smith is just phenomenal in the way he puts runs together, Joe Root is very correct as is Kane Williamson.

Q What is that impresses you the most about Virat?

I think his personality and his aggression and the way he takes the game to the opposition. I think his leadership skills have been pretty good so far and it runs on the rest of the players.

Q Were you surprised at the exclusion of Ajinkya Rahane in the Indian team for this test match?

I rate him (Rahane) highly as a test player and he got a good away record. He is technically very sound. So, I was surprised to see him miss out on the test match here.

Q What would be your advice to the Indian batsman to do well in these conditions?

They really got to apply themselves in these conditions and you got to be prepared to be patient to bat for long periods. So that is the basic difference of batting on the sub-continent and here in these conditions.

Q South Africa has come a long way now being rated as a super power in world cricket post apartheid era. How do you see South African cricket grow in stature over the years?

Well I think it’s been phenomenal actually climb to No. 1 in test cricket after being in isolation for so long. I think there’s always been talent in South Africa but the fact that the talent is been harnessed to produce such a good test team I think it’s been really good.

Q What has been the highs and lows of South African cricket till date?

I think the high has been to go on top in the test arena and the lows obviously is not winning a world cup till date. That’s been a huge disappointment although there have been some good performances in the world cups.

Q Can you take us back to the reception you received at the Kolkata airport and playing in front of a capacity Eden Gardens crowd

Well that was unbelievable and fortunately for me I had done that before with the Australia side. So I knew what we can expect but for the rest of the South African side it was a new experience. The atmosphere at the Eden Gardens was absolutely wonderful. We had a terrific three match tour which only lasted for about a week. But it was something special to be part of.

Q Take us through that innings you played against India on debut

Yeah, we lost a wicket pretty early so I was in early which a good thing was for me. It wasn’t an easy innings to play because we were still not used to playing on that surface as we were not there to prepare for long. So it was nice to get some runs under your belt. Off course what stands out for me was Allan Donald’s spell which to me was absolutely superb. To get a five wicket haul on that flat surface was a great effort.

Q Kepler, you have never been dismissed for a duck in your 109 ODI’s. What has been the secret?

Ha ha ha , it was actually quite strange because I only realised it towards the end of my career. It’s unusual but it was a good achievement none the less. I did get out cheaply for 1 or 2 sometimes.

Q If you are to name three all time greatest cricketers of South Africa, who will keep as the top three?

I think it’s quite easy as Jacques Kallis is top of that list. Dale Steyn is another one who will be in the top three cricketer. Those two for me are the ones I would like to single out and they have been absolutely fantastic.

You played against India for the first time in the 1980s, for Australia. Later, you played against India in the South Africa colours... What's the difference you find in this team?

I think Indian cricket has come a long way. I think the Indian Premier League (IPL) has made a huge difference to Indian cricket. I think the Indian players are better equipped to play on foreign conditions now than they used to. But even in those days they have a superb team with the likes of Kapil Dev in the early 80’s and later guys like Sachin Tendulkar took over. India always been a power house but in these days even more so.

Q Were you disappointed that AB de Villiers took such a long sabbatical from Test cricket?

A Not really... As a South African, I would have liked AB to play, but he'd reached a point where he needed a break. The 2015 World Cup campaign, where AB was the captain, took its toll... He has a young family... A few things just added up.

Q With Day-Night Tests and four-day Tests happening, what is the future of Test cricket?

I think the future of test cricket between the top nations is very good. I think the four day and Day/Night test cricket is worth exploring. But I think there’s still some work to be done on it.


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