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Smith unconvinced by Kohli leadership

22 January 2018 23:33

Graeme Smith is not convinced Virat Kohli should remain captain on a long-term basis and thinks India might benefit from having a "better leader".

Kohli has continued to set high standards with the bat, but snappily defended his captaincy when questioned were asked after the tourists slumped to a Test series defeat in South Africa.

The prolific skipper was fined for an outburst at umpire Michael Gough during the second Test at Centurion and criticised his fellow batsmen following defeat in that match.

Former Proteas captain Smith thinks Kohli needs to improve his leadership skills if he is to stay on in the role.

"I don't know, when I look at him, if he is a long-term captaincy option for India," Smith said at a SuperSport breakfast event.

"At the end of this year, he'd have been away from home for a while, the pressure he'll face, the scrutiny from the press - I know he only gets that in India - but if you're away from home and you're struggling for form as a team, I don't know if I'd want to burden Virat Kohli with that. Or if India have a better leader in that environment."

Smith feels Kohli finds it difficult to put himself in his team-mates' shoes.

"You can be the best player in the world, and you love that intensity and you often don't think what your team-mates are going through," Smith said.

"Sometimes you talk to AB de Villiers, he gets down and reverse sweeps, he makes it look so easy, and sometimes you need to remind AB that other guys don't see it that way.

"As a leader you need to understand the whole environment, talk to the players to try to get the best out of the environment. He might grow as he learns to soften that a little bit.

"His performances speak for themselves, it's about whether he can get the best out of those around him when they are under pressure."

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