Virat Kohli is making a concerted effort to change the way he plays the game, says Ian Healy.Virat Kohli has become a more respectful and calmer captain, according to one of the many ns to have incurred the Indian icon’s wrath.
Kohli has adopted a pugnacious approach throughout previous clashes with , often peppering the opposition with verbals while rowing over a range of issues.
But the 30-year-old has offered an olive branch as he plots India’s bid for a maiden Test series win in , insisting he has matured and won’t seek to start any on-field spats.
Kohli’s declaration came a year and a half after a fiery series in India that prompted the run glutton to declare he was no longer friends with any of the n players and never would be.
Kohli later claimed those comments were blown out of proportion but there was no hiding the obvious bad blood.
Ian Healy wasn’t in India but he did cop a broadside from Kohli during that series, having critiqued the skipper’s on-field behaviour.
A fired-up Kohli hit back by referencing an incident from nearly two decades ago, when Healy was banned for showing dissent during a Test.
“He’s learned to play with more respect these days. I love the way he plays,” former keeper Healy told AAP.
“Since then, I’ve felt he has played more respectfully to the ethics of the game and I think he’s been a lot calmer. Which he should be, for a great player.
“He did also forget that just before saying that, I did say he is the best batsman I have ever seen. So selective memory but that’s OK. I’ve been happy with his improvement.
“Now our n team is going to show similar improvements.”
The Fox Cricket pundit, speaking prior to Kohli’s arrival, doubted whether the upcoming four-Test series would be spiteful.
“It’ll be very competitive but you don’t have to get personal and you don’t have to mouth off,” Healy said.
Healy, having been suitably impressed with Kohli’s four tons during India’s previous Test series in , is in no doubt the superstar will once again be the tourists’ talisman.
“He’s always the one to watch. He’s coming off an English tour where his side wasn’t successful, so he’ll be really keen to do well here,” he said.
“You don’t predict that even the best bowlers in the world will trouble a batsman like that.
“But we’ve got some firepower. They’ll be capable of giving him a really hard session or two. It’s up to him whether he can get through it.”