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'When you're scoring runs, you automatically become a good leader'


Former India captain Mohd Azharuddin at Uppal yesterday. Pic/Subodh Mayure 

Hyderabad: Mohammed Azharuddin knows what it’s like to be in a team with a mega batting star. For the last 10 years of his international cricket career he played alongside the great Sachin Tendulkar. Yesterday, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Uppal, he watched another great waltzing his away to a double century which did full justice to the best-batsman-in-the-world crown which Virat Kohli wears. The Hyderabad-based former India captain was floored not just by Kohli’s ability but also his focus and hunger to achieve his goals. Excerpts from a chat:

On Kohli’s fourth consecutive double century in a series
He played well, no doubt about it. When opportunities arise, he scores runs. I would say he creates opportunities. He is a very good all-round player and you can hardly find any fault in him. More importantly, he is very focused. He is one player, who really looks after himself, looks after his body. When you are fit, you can score big runs at all times.

On Kohli’s chances of breaking all major cricketing records
It’s very early to say anything. Records, after all, are meant to be broken. It’s hard to predict, but he has the ability, talent, focus and hunger to achieve everything.

On Kohli as a leader
He is a good leader. When you are scoring runs, you automatically become a good leader because you are armed with so much confidence. If you struggle with your performance then it becomes very difficult for a leader to perform his role. He is on a high and I hope he is always on a high. Whatever Virat has done, he has done with authority and conviction, so I think he doesn’t need to take any pressure on himself whatsoever.

On Bangladesh playing their first Test in India after 17 years
Bangladesh have to play more matches. If they don’t play more Test matches, it will become very difficult for them to emerge in the true sense. Playing one-day international cricket and Test matches is totally different, but having said that, good Test players are also fine one-day cricketers. Bangladesh should play more Test cricket and that’s how their players will get better.

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