Mumbai, August 19 (IANS) While Virat Kohli is facing some heat over his exaggerated vocal and aggressive behavior during India’s spectacular 151-race victory over England in the second Test at Lord’s, the Indian captain has come under praise from former England Captain Kevin Pietersen for his passion, enthusiasm, intensity and the way he “gathers his troops” in test cricket.
Claiming that Kohli “is great for test cricket”, Pietersen said the Indian captain knows how important it is to excel in test cricket in order to be considered a legend about the game and therefore will also deliver in this format.
“Kohli knows that in order to be considered a legend about the game, he has to deliver in this format as well as in the T20. That is why he places so much emphasis on this format and at a time when Test cricket needs all the love it can get, how good it is to see a global superstar so passionate about it, ”Pietersen wrote in his blog on Wednesday.
“He appreciates his team producing under all conditions, and so having seen his team win in Australia and then having gone one up in England with a win at Lord will satisfy him immensely.
“You can see by his enthusiasm, intensity and the way he gathers his troops. Test cricket still means everything to him, and it is moments like this that will define his “legacy”, said Pietersen, who has scored 8,181 test runs in 104 matches.
“By knowing Virat Kohli the way I do, I know the tremendous drive he puts into following in the footsteps of his heroes. His heroes are Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and other legends about test match cricket, ”said Pietersen.
Pietersen also praised the Indian cricket team for its performance in England so far, saying they could have been 2-0 ahead in the five-match series if they had not been prevented by rain in the first Test. India, chasing a goal of 209, was 52/1 at the end of the game on day 4 and needed only 157 runs when heavy rainfall played spoilsport and prevented play on the fifth day.
“It is very difficult for subcontinent teams to come to England and perform, but they would probably be 2-0 ahead after two games if it were not for the rain at Trent Bridge.
“The way Mohammed Siraj bowled on day five summed it up – intensity, heart and quality. It’s great for Test cricket that India – which is number one in the game – is so loud and so passionate about it.
“It all bodes well for the format,” he added.