T20 World Cup 2021: Virat Kohli brought fighting spirit and passion to Indian side as captain, says Faf du Plessis


Virat Kohli will be leading the side as the captain in a T20 international for the last time when his side takes on Namibia in a ICC T20 World Cup 2021 clash in Dubai. Kohli will be stepping down for the T20 captaincy after a disappointing World Cup campaign but former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis believes that Kohli instilled a ‘fighting spirit’ in the Indian T20 side.

“Virat (Kohli) has been captain of the Indian side for almost a decade now which is a phenomenal achievement. He brough something different to the Indian side – fighting spirit and passion – both of which are part of his own character. I am surprised that India are not in the semifinals but format of the tournament was such that one bad game and you are out of the race to reach the last four,” Du Plessis, who will be leading the Bangla Tigers in the Abu Dhabi T10 league later this month, said.

“I would have put my money on India and West Indies reaching the semifinals. India started off too slow with a few of their top players out of form. They took 2-3 games to get going and unfortunately it was too late for them in the tournament,” Du Plessis added.

The South African finished just two runs behind his Chennai Super Kings teammate and opener Ruturaj Gaikwad to finish second in the Orange Cap race for top run-getters in IPL 2021. Du Plessis, who top scored for MS Dhoni’s CSK in the final against Kolkata Knight Riders, finished with 633 runs in 16 games at an average of over 45 and with six fifties this season.

The former SA captain was pleased with the performance of his national side, who failed to reach the semifinals in spite of finishing with four wins out of five matches in the Super 12 stage.

“To win four out of five matches is a great effort by the South African team. They played good cricket and it was brutal not to see them reach the semis. The national side would be disappointed but they should be proud of their performance,” the 37-year-old said.

‘New Zealand or Pakistan should win the T20 World Cup’

The top four of the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021 has already been finalised. England will take on New Zealand in the first semifinal while Babar Azam’s Pakistan will take on Australia in the other.

Asked about his choice of winner in the final, Du Plessis said, “I hope New Zealand win it. They have come so close and suffered heartbreaks likes South Africa in ICC tournaments like the 2019 OD World Cup final. If not them then it will have to Pakistan.”

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