Chennai: Mike Brearley, who is widely considered one of the most astute and complete captains, on Monday declared his admiration for Virat Kohli and Steve Smith, but refused to get into a debate on who’s a better leader.
Australia skipper Smith and his Indian counterpart Kohli have been in brilliant form with the bat, occupying the No.1 and No.2 spots respectively in Test cricket.
“The pressure (of captaincy) hasn’t hampered their form. They both are wonderful batsmen and I admire them both very much. I wouldn’t jump into the discussion on who’s better than the other,” said the former England skipper Brearley on the sidelines of a literary festival here.
Brearley, who is a psychoanalyst, an author and also motivational speaker, said he strongly believes in a shallow triangle of hierarchy when it comes to leadership in cricket. “Democratic or authoritative or task-oriented captain…You certainly have to be task-oriented. You have to respond to the situation. You don’t know where the excellent piece of idea would come from. You have to be open to people’s opinion and you have to encourage them. At the same time, you have to be firm and clear,” said Brearley.
When asked about Kohli’s decision to drop Ajinkya Rahane, a proven performer in overseas conditions, in favour of “in-form” Rohit Sharma, Brearkey said the clichéd phrase of ‘form is temporary, but class is permanent’ has some truth in it.
“On the other hand, different team needs to be picked for different challenges. I sympathise with the selectors. I don’t know the details of it (the reason behind India’s current playing XI), but at the end you have to pick your best XI for the match,” said Brearley.