Kohli must not be rushed into captaincy

Last Updated: Thu, Oct 11, 2012 16:31 hrs
Kohli must not be rushed into captaincy

Wasim Akram feels MS Dhoni must ask himself whether he should be leading in all three formats of the game for Team India!

Focus now shifts from one Twenty20 extravaganza to another world-level T20 club tournament - the Karbonn Champions League T20. The fourth edition of the tournament in South Africa presents an opportunity for various star players to gain some confidence ahead of tough international series.

If you take my team, Kolkata Knight Riders, Gautam Gambhir will like to put the disappointments of the ICC World T20 behind him quickly. I hope our skipper can turn it around in this tournament. Gambhir needs matches to get his confidence back, and my gut feeling is that the responsibility of leading the side will bring the best out of him. He will play a vital role for KKR and I back him to do well in spite of seamer-friendly conditions in South Africa.

I am not surprised that questions are being raised about Mahendra Singh Dhoni's leadership skills after India failed to reach the semis of the ICC World T20 for the third time in-a-row. Perhaps, Dhoni must take some time out and assess himself as a captain. He himself is the best judge of his skills as a leader. There could be additional pressure on him as a leader in all three formats of the game. I really think if he drops captaincy in one of the formats then he will be able to focus and enjoy his game more. I still feel he is one of the best players and finishers in limited overs cricket.

As far as blooding young Virat Kohli as a captain in smaller formats is concerned, I think that should just wait. The guy is in the form of his life. He has been India's most consistent batsman over the past 18 months or so. Let him enjoy his game and not put any other responsibility on him at the moment. Kohli must not be burdened with team selection issues and other important decision making matters.

Back to the KCL T20 and I feel it will be an exciting tournament. It is the start of the cricketing season in South Africa so it will be interesting to watch how the pitches play there. I believe the best bowlers will still trouble the best batsmen. The seam bowlers will make merry, but they will have to be accurate.

As far as the Indian Premier League teams go, all four sides - KKR, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians, have South African T20 specialists in their ranks and that will greatly benefit these sides. The local players will share their experience on how to play on those tracks and how the pitches will behave at this time of the year. For example, a Jacques Kallis will be able to advise his KKR teammates on how to go about setting up a target and what target could prove defendable, etc.

The Champions League is going to be a pretty long and gruelling tournament. But the cricketing conditions will be far better than what we saw in Sri Lanka. With so many stars around, this tournament is going to be a cracker of a championship.

(Former Pakistan skipper and ESPN-STAR Sports expert Wasim Akram is the bowling consultant of KKR)

More from Sify: