Indian skipper Virat Kohli (left) and Gautam Gambhir. Photo: file
Indian skipper Virat Kohli (left) and Gautam Gambhir. Photo: file 

Former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir on Tuesday criticised Indian captain Virat Kohli, saying that he had “never impressed him” as a “strategist”. 

Kohli has been under fire for moving star opening batsman Rohit Sharma down the order and playing Ishan Kishan in his place against New Zealand. 

Kishan failed to fire against New Zealand, and the Men in Blue lost a flurry of wickets against the Black Caps that ultimately resulted in them suffering an eight-wicket defeat. 

In his column for the Times of India, Gambhir pointed out that Kohli’s strategies have never left an impression on him. The former left-handed batsman said he had played long enough with former Indian skipper Dhoni to know he would not make the risky changes to the India squad ahead of its crunch New Zealand match. 

“Kohli has never impressed me as a strategist. Once again, he was a disappointment on Sunday. For starters, why did he change the team from the one that played against Pakistan?” wrote Gambhir. 

He also slammed Kohli for playing Ishan Kishan in Rohit Sharma’s place. “I have played long enough with MS Dhoni to know that he would have nothing to do with these knee-jerk changes just after one game. And what I also understand is that the other support staff hardly challenge Kohli’s calls,” he added. 

New Zealand spinners Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santer proved to be too difficult for Kohli and his teammates on Sunday. The New Zealand spinners gave away only 32 runs in 8 overs while Sodhi was able to get the prized wickets of Kohli and Sharma. 

Gambhir added that the point to be discussed was whether the Kiwi spinners were that good or whether a poor batting show from Indian batsmen made them look better.

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