Kohli took over from Dhoni as India captain midway through the last decade, initially in Test cricket after Dhoni announced his retirement from the format in 2014, and then as full-time captain in early 2017.
Under Kohli, India rose to the top of the Test rankings, and they stayed there for 43 months before being displaced in May. India also reached the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy and the semi-final of the 2019 World Cup under Kohli’s captaincy, with Dhoni providing valuable support.
Finch highlighted the duo’s ability to work with each other as the key reason behind India’s rise as a force in the last decade. “You see the input MS still has out on the field, helping Virat, changing angles, just small things like that – I think that shows two people who are really comfortable with each other, but also with their positions,” Finch said in the Sony Ten Pit Stop show.
“Sometimes in different teams, it goes like that [pear shaped] after a leadership change, but I think it just shows the only thing that’s in their minds is the best interests of Indian cricket, and that shows quality leadership from both of them.
It’s something I think we’ve been pretty good at in Australia as well – Ricky Ponting, letting go of captaincy, and then just sliding in and helping everybody out. That was a very similar transition, and a similar impact.”
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) December 25, 2019
Finch was also full of praise for how Kohli himself has dealt with the pressure that comes with captaining a “cricket-mad” country like India. “The pressure of playing for India is one but also leading India is another and the way he (Kohli) has done it, so consistently for a long time,” he said.
“And taking over from (MS) Dhoni , the leadership, that is huge. The expectations were high, and he kept delivering. That is the most impressive thing [about Kohli].”