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'Never met a more enthusiastic captain than Kohli'

January 14, 2020 11:03 IST

'Dhoni knew how to get the best out of people.'

Virat Kohli. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

IMAGE: Ricky Ponting picked Virat Kohli as captain of his Test team of the 2010s. It didn't feature any other Indian apart from Kohli. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
 

'The danger is that this generation which loves Test cricket will die out and nobody will replace them,' cricket coach Duncan Fletcher tells The Daily Telegraph.

'Test matches should last four days, with 200 or 220 overs for each side. You can bat however long you like in your first innings, say 150 overs, then leave yourself the rest in the second,' is Fletcher's advice to the International Cricket Council.

The ICC will consider a proposal in March to trim Test matches from five days to four days, a plan that has invited instant condemnation from current and past players.

Fletcher, who coached the Indian cricket team from 2011 to 2015, is now retired, and prefers to watch birds off the South African coast.

Of the captains of the two teams -- England and India -- he coached since the turn of the new century, the Zimbabwean has interesting views:

Chennai-born Englishman Nasser Hussain,' he tells the Daily Telegraph, 'was probably the deepest thinker about the game of these four' -- the others being Michael Vaughan, M S Dhoni and Virat Kohli.

'Like Virat Kohli,' Fletcher points out, 'he really challenged his players to improve.'

Michael Vaughan 'was in a sense the most natural captain of the four,' he says, adding, 'Like M S Dhoni, he knew how to get the best out of people.'

M S Dhoni. Photograph: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images/Getty Images

IMAGE: The Incredible Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Photograph: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

Dhoni, Fletcher tells the Daily Telegraph, was a 'very quiet man who thought a lot about the game and knew how to get the best out of people. No matter who the individual was, MS knew when to say the right thing. His timing was incredible'.

And Virat? 'A pity I didn’t see more of him. He is similar to Nasser in being excitable and challenging his players to improve. I never met more enthusiastic cricket captains than him and Nasser.'

'All of them were, or are, outstanding captains,' Fletcher insists.

Interestingly, 28 years before his Indian stint, Fletcher almost halted India's campaign to its first World Cup title.

The Zimbabwe side, he captained, had reduced the Indian team to first 17/5 and 98/7 at Tunbridge Wells.

But Indian captain Kapil Dev quashed the Zimbabwean dream scoring an incredible 175 not out, one of the most memorable World Cup batting feats ever.

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