Pressure to win justifies Kohli’s on-field aggression: Hadlee

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Virat Kohli

Auckland– Virat Kohli’s on-field aggression is justified as it helps in unsettling opposition, a tactic necessary for India skipper since he faces enormous pressure to win from fans, said former New Zealand all-rounder Richard Hadlee.

“I quite like seeing any player expressing themself (sic) towards the opposition by having a real presence — it is a form of intimidation that can be unsettling, and a tactic used by many sportspeople,” said Hadlee in an interview to International Cricket Council (ICC).

“I see Virat as being a very passionate and competitive cricketer with a strong desire for himself and the team to succeed. The pressure and expectations on him to ‘win’ is enormous. There are millions of Indian fans who idolise him which puts great pressure on him. Virat is responsible for ensuring that Indian cricket remains competitive and be one of the best teams in the world,” added Hadlee, one of the four major all-rounders who dominated international cricket scene in late 1970s and 1980s along with Imran Khan, Kapil Dev and Ian Botham.

Hadlee, who at one point in time was Test cricket’s top wicket-taker with 431 scalps, before being overtaken by Kapil Dev said that the Indian fans need to understand that Kohli is bound to fail at times.

“Fans still need to understand that we are all human, and champions will fail from time to time — any cricketer can score a duck or get no wickets which is deemed to be a failure,” added the 69-year-old New Zealander.

Hadlee, however, said that every sportsperson needs to find balance in his on-field behaviour.

“It is finding a way to win a game and gain an advantage over one’s opponent. Having said that, sportsmanship and fair play is still paramount, so it is finding that balance between doing what is right and expected from a player instead of going too far and bringing the game into disrepute,” he added. (IANS)

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