Virat Kohli can come across as intimidating but he is still learning and would become calmer as he grows on the job, feels West Indies' pace legend Michael Holding, who finds an uncanny similarity between the Indian skipper and Sir Vivian Richards.
"At the moment he is a young captain, who is just learning and understanding what it takes to be a captain. He is a bit exuberant and very emotional. Sometimes he gets so emotional that it is intimidating not only for the opposition but for his players as well. When I compare Virat to Vivian Richards, it is not just in the batting but captaincy as well," Holding told PTI.
"It was similar with Viv. When he took over the captaincy, it was similar. And then he grew in the job. He learnt to be a little bit calmer and then his team got calmer as well. And then the results came. I think it should be a similar learning situation with Virat," he added.
India clinched the third Test by 63 runs at Wanderers but lost the three-match series against South Africa after losing the opening two Tests.
Kohli's selection decision came under the scanner in the Test series and Holding too was critical of his chop-and- change policy which saw him play a different XI in each of the 35 Tests.
"You are playing in so many different conditions, in so many foreign countries, that you think that this pitch now suits this person or doesn't suit someone else. Also, in the modern game, there is so much cricket that you tend to rotate players especially bowlers and give them a bit of rest. If that is a reason why he is doing it, you can understand that. But it is unhealthy making so many changes," said Holding.
A massive controversy unfolded over Indian teams selection for the second cricket Test against South Africa which kickstarted on Saturday. Coming into the game at Centurion after suffering a 72-run defeat in the first Test, Team India made three changes to their playing XI, with KL Rahul replacing Shikhar Dhawan and Ishant Sharma coming in for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, whose three-wicket burst on the first morning of the opening Test rocked the hosts.
Former players took to Twitter and not only questioned the selection but also suggested that the skipper "should drop himself" if he fails.
"When you go back to the great Test teams, they would change now and again, not every Test match, because then even the players are unsettled and they are not sure if they are going to play the next game or not. They might be worried that if I don't perform today, I might be out tomorrow," Holding said.
"And you need settled players. You need them to think positively about their game. You need them to think I will go out there and even if I fail, I am good enough and they will give me another chance. It doesn't happen with rotation constantly, which again is unhealthy," he continued.
"He is a top-class batsman. He is way above the rest of Indian batsmen in this team. When I think of the past Indian batsmen, Sachin Tendulkar was the best batsman in his team. But he wasn't that far ahead of people like Rahul Dravid or VVS Laxman. He was better than them but not miles ahead," Holding said.
"Virat is miles ahead of everybody on this Indian team but I don't think it influences his captaincy. And as soon as Virat gets some runs in England, I am happy to put the label great beside his name. At the moment I am just waiting."
(With inputs from PTI)