Exclusive | Kohli, Messi yet to win major trophy with national side; it’s all about temperament: Ramiz Raja

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Virat Kohli and Lionel Messi

India skipper Virat Kohli should lead from the front in the World Test Championship final to be considered among all-time greats, reckons ex-Pakistan skipper Ramiz Raja. 

Kohli, looking to end his century drought, has a golden opportunity to pocket elusive ICC silverware in the inaugural World Test Championship final starting June 18th in Southampton. 

In an exclusive interaction with India TV, cricketer-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja said Kohli will add another feather to his already illustrious cap by winning the WTC trophy. 

“Look at Sir Viv Richards. He always used to perform on big occasions. The WTC final will be a great opportunity for Kohli to score a ton and lead India to a trophy. He’s already among legends but leading India to the WTC trophy will be one more feather in his cap. A podium like this is a great chance for Kohli to enter into the club of ‘all-time greats’. He’s got the ability to do that. He just needs to manage his talent according to the situation.

“Some big names like Lionel Messi are still yet to win major silverware with Argentina. It’s all about temperament. Performing in big games like a World Cup final proves a player’s mettle,” said Raja.

Gill also spoke highly of young opener Shubman Gill, saying that the Punjab batsman has to prioritize Test cricket to achieve ‘greatness’. After a brilliant performance Down Under, Gill will be licking his lips to deliver in English conditions. The right-hander will be contesting against Mayank Agarwal for the opening spot. 

“If you want to assess a batsman, see how quickly he sees the ball and gets into position. Gill has got batting skills like Rohit Sharma. Both have got lazy elegance. Gill just has to improve his technique a bit and learn from Kohli about converting aggression to numbers. 

“He had played a match-winning innings in Australia and he’s got temperament as well. He will just get better with time.”

“Great potentials often get wasted. T20 cricket has got the money but young players need to give priority to Test cricket. Kohli’s emphasis on Test cricket will help youngsters like Gill to improve. Performing in the traditional format is the way to achieve greatness,” Raja further said.

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