Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden has revealed Virat Kohli's attention to detail and the backing he gets from "excellent" support staff makes him one of the best captains going around in world cricket.
Hayden shed light on how Indian cricket's landscape has changed under Kohli while heaping praise on the the team's willingness to test itself and "play the best in the world around the world". He also credited the Indian skipper for helping the team achieve "world standards" when it comes to fielding.
Despite being in the early days of his captaincy, Kohli has managed to eclipse some of the greats of the game when it comes to winning percentage. In ODIs, Kohli, with 78.57 percent (from 43 matches) is above Clive Lloyd (77.71 in 84 Tests) and Ricky Ponting (76.14 in 230 matches) on the list of most successful captains.
On the other hand, India have won eight Test series on the trot under Kohli. They have beaten top teams of the likes of South Africa, Australia and England at home and crushed West Indies and Sri Lanka on the road.
'Very good leader with excellent support staff'
"He [Kohli] is right up there as someone now that has got the capacity to lead well and lead successfully across multiple formats. It is the little things like his attention to detail on the excellence of fitness and training regimen, his expectation in terms of the fielding unit and how that has really improved," Hayden said, as quoted by DNA.
He added: "There is not really any passenger in the field any more from an Indian cricket perspective. When I was playing, there were three or four that were pretty average fielders. So, he has lifted the benchmark in areas of weakness as well, of which fielding was one."
""I see a lot of changes and I see at the helm is a very good leader with excellent support staff. You can imagine the kind of conversations that Ravi Shastri (chief coach) and he will be having off the field. They would be very intelligent, robust discussions.
"They are two very passionate people and the support staff around Ravi as well. You have to give a lot of credit to what I think is a very good appointment to Indian cricket."
Hayden lauds India's willingness to play overseas
Kohli recently lashed out at the BCCI over "cramped preparation time" ahead of the all-important South Africa tour. The Indian skipper has always stressed on the need to perform well on the road and a busy schedule ahead of their first high-profile overseas tour in more than two 18 months seems to have not gone down with him.
"The actual Indian cricket landscape has changed. I think their ambition to play the best in the world, around the world, is a really positive sign for cricket. You cannot be No. 1 side if you don't play well both abroad and domestically. Virat has got that firmly entrenched on his blueprint for Indian cricket moving forward," Hayden said.