Michael Holding: “Virat Kohli should tone it down a notch.”


Michael Holding, a West Indian legend, has instructed Virat Kohli to ‘tone down’ when captaining India. Holding believes the 32-year-old gets carried away with his on-field intensity, which has the majority of his teammates on edge and ‘on tenterhooks.’

In an interview with The Indian Express, Michael Holding made the statement. Virat Kohli was also compared to another West Indian star, Viv Richards, by the former bowler. He stated that being overly expressive on the pitch is in both of their nature, but that they must learn to relax for the sake of their teams.

“Virat Kohli is someone who wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s someone who will let you know exactly how he feels. I think he gets a bit carried away at times, but that is Virat Kohli, that is the man.”

Kohli’s demeanor has been compared to those of West Indies legend Viv Richards, according to Holding. He stated, ”

“He’s similar to Viv (Richards) in that regard. Viv, sometimes on the field, was over-expressive. But those are the personalities of those two gentlemen. They can tone down a little bit as well, but then, if you are a Mustang, it’s hard to tell a Mustang to trot. He’s going to gallop.”

Kohli should relax a little to allow his teammates to express themselves freely on the pitch, according to Holding.

“As far as his captaincy, I’ve only seen India when they were touring England and I saw them in South Africa. The only thing I’d say about Virat is that he tone down a bit so his team can relax because a lot of them, I think, are on tenterhooks,” said Michael Holding.

In the World Test Championship final, Virat Kohli came up short of capturing his maiden ICC title as captain. He now wants to win the critical 5-Test series against England, which starts on August 4th.

virat Kholi
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Fitness and improved pitches behind the rise of Indian cricket: Michael Holding

Michael Holding
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Michael Holding also discussed Indian cricket’s amazing rise from being the underdog in his period to one of the top teams now. He ascribed the shift to the athletes’ increased athleticism more than their ability level.

“Well, it’s a totally different era when it comes to Indian cricket. When I played against India, probably two of the players were fit. Now everybody on the field is fit. You see how athletic they are, how dynamic they are. The skill level hasn’t really changed that much but when you have fitness, and a change of attitude along with skill level, obviously the cricket will also change,” said Michael Holding.

The substantially altered grounds, according to the former pacer, have also helped the team manage with the pace and bounce overseas.

“What has also helped Indian cricket is that a lot of pitches in India, for domestic cricket and cricket in general, have improved. The ball bounces a lot more and since it carries, batsmen are able to cope on overseas pitches. In my time, once India left India, that was it. The pitches that they played in India were slow and low and it became dusty.”

During the West Indies’ 2014-15 tour of India, Holding discussed his recent experience on Indian pitches.

When I did a series in India in 2014-15, when West Indies came and the tour was abandoned, each time I would do a pitch report with Sunny Gavaskar, I would joke and say, ‘Sunny, how come the pitches weren’t like this when we used to play here?’ Good pitches create good cricketers,” Michael Holding concluded.

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