A few days back Mohammad Azharuddin was asking Sachin Tendulkar that he should be changing his stance to a more open one so that he was able to deal with incoming deliveries more efficiently in the upcoming series against South Africa. Now he has turned his attention to Virat Kohli, the next potential batting great to come out of India. However, on this occasion his advice is not regarding Virat’s batting skills or technique but rather his fiery temper. Azhar feels that Virat is a very good cricketer and has a long journey ahead of him and has also predicted that he is going to be India’s captain one day.

However, he clearly has an issue with Virat Kohli’s temper. Azhar feels that if he has to be a captain he needs to behave and conduct himself like a true captain – he needs to rein in that fiery temper or otherwise it might hurt him somewhere down the line. It seems that Azhar clearly has a point. In the second one day with Zimbabwe, Virat argued long and hard with the umpires after being given out caught in controversial circumstances that in itself was enough to earn him some reprimand. To add to that he also threw his bat in front of the umpire, and that may have got him suspended for a couple of matches. There were, in fact, apprehensions in the media that he may need to sit out in a couple of matches in the series but the rather inexplicable thing is that he walked away absolutely free!

Virat Kohli is an aggressive young cricketer and thrives on getting fired up by major challenges according to his childhood coach, who feels that it is better that the youngster be allowed to retain his inherent nature. This is because, one feels, if Virat is asked to behave in a sober way on the field he may not be able to express himself properly and thus, India could lose a wonderful talent one day!

While these theories cannot be faulted it also needs to be said that Azhar may have a point here. Since the last Australia tour there have been several incidents of Kohli losing his cool and that too in rather unsavory ways. He has been in a fierce altercation with Gautam Gambhir in an IPL match and now this incident. Azhar is right in saying that it is the duty of the captain to be as calm and unflustered as possible – something exemplified to perfection by one MS Dhoni who always has a soothing influence on the team even in the toughest of situations – so that he is able to guide the team properly when he is given the responsibility.

Virat displays amazing calm as a batsman and has an unflustered yet effective way of going about things – it is perhaps necessary that he brings the same attitude to the table when he is leading India. He can also pick on Dhoni’s brain and see how he views things and implement those ideas. You may not always be a cool and calm person but if you harbor aspirations of leading the Indian team and clearly have the goods then it is necessary that you do what is necessary and change yourself a little so that everybody benefits. This perhaps applies to Kohli as well and it’s time he understands it.