Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma natural leaders, says Corey Anderson

New Zealand's Corey Anderson, who has played with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the IPL, feels both of them have different styles of captaincy.

Royal Challengers Bangalore's Corey Anderson celebrates the dismissal of Mumbai Indians' Evin Lewis with skipper Virat Kohli during an IPL match at the Wankhede Stadium on April 17, 2018.

Royal Challengers Bangalore's Corey Anderson celebrates the dismissal of Mumbai Indians' Evin Lewis with skipper Virat Kohli during an IPL match at the Wankhede Stadium on April 17, 2018.   -  Vivek Bendre

Not many cricketers get a chance to rub shoulders with the best in the business. Corey Anderson feels his IPL journey is special because it let him bat and bowl against top international stars.

Having played with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli for Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively, the New Zealand all-rounder had the best of two worlds that rule Indian cricket today.

“In IPL, you are playing with Indian and international players who are rockstars. It's different environment, players and coaches every time. Mumbai probably has a bigger place in my heart as I have spent most of my time there. Even Delhi [Daredevils] and RCB were fantastic.

“To play against someone like Kohli from the U19 World Cup [in 2008] to all of a sudden taking the field with him for RCB [in 2018] is quite a surreal feeling. If you had asked me when I was 18 or 19 of what he was supposed to become (laughs)… it is such a cool thing to be part of — witness his growth in real-time, Anderson told Sportstar in an Instagram Live session on Wednesday.

With four IPL titles, Sharma is the most successful captain in the T20 league. In Kohli's absence, he has also led India to glories in limited-overs cricket; Nidahas Trophy and Asia Cup being the highlights.

READ | The journey of cricket from Sachin Tendulkar to Virat Kohli

Anderson has observed their captaincy style closely and he feels “there is no massive difference”.

“Both are very good captains. Sharma is probably a bit laid-back in that role. He is passionate, wants to win, but keeps it under wraps a little bit more. Kohli wears his heart on his sleeve and shows a lot of emotion.

100

Mumbai Indians' Rohit Sharma and Corey Anderson during their team's opening IPL match against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on April 08, 2015.   -  K.R. Deepak

 

“But they both take charge of the team. They are natural born leaders. They are also the best batters. Sharma is one of my favourite players to watch when he is in full flow. He makes cricket look like the easiest game in the world. The top guys in the world do that," he said.

ALSO READ | Kane Williamson: Good at heart, great at the game!

Anderson believes Sharma and Kohli have injected the winning culture in Team India. “They are good tacticians, they understand the game and know how to win. That’s why India has been so successful. They have numerous players who have captained IPL teams. You know that if someone drops out — be it injury or anything — they have replacements,” said Anderson, who also witnessed the rise of Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya from rookies to heroes.

The New Zealander praised the Mumbai setup for their solid scouting process.

 

“Boom was very fresh when he came. That’s one thing I give it to Mumbai. They do very well with scouting with these young players coming out of nowhere. He was raw but had incredible talent. There are a lot of people who are talented but you need to harness and steer it in the right direction. Shane Bond was the bowling coach of Mumbai. His IQ of the game is fantastic. He is an incredible coach. For someone like Bumrah to come into the environment with Shane looking after him was massive; just the baby steps while trying to figure out the bigger picture thinking ‘how am I going to become the world’s best bowler’.

“And today, he is one of the best bowlers in the world. He has achieved those things quickly; credit to this talent and he is also a smart person. He has listened to the right people,” Anderson said.

Pandya ‘the swagger’

IPL 2020 would have marked Pandya's comeback after six months. He was nursing a back injury. The all-rounder had to go undergo a surgery last year.

He announced match-fitness by performing in the local DY Patil T20 Cup in March.

"He has progressed unbelievably well. It is cool to see from where he started to where he is now. There is a swagger about him and he loves being a rockstar. Indian fans love him. He has been a massive part in Indian cricket being the all-rounder they wanted.

"With the lockdown due to COVID-19, someone in his position is raring to go out there I am sure. It gives him a bit more time to recharge engines and go again when he needs to go. Being injured, having time out of the game, you want to get back immediately. He is in the prime, it will be awesome to see where he heads towards the end of his career," said Anderson, who is currently in Dallas with his fiancee.

Due to the coronavirus lockdown in the US, Anderson has been training in his backyard just to ensure that the hand-eye co-ordination is on track.

  Dugout videos