Coach Ray Jennings has backed Bangalore’s decision to appoint Daniel Vettori rather than Virat Kohli as their captain for the 2011 Indian Premier League.
Shrugging off suggestion that the 22-year-old Kohli be thrust to the helm of the Royal Challengers franchise on the back of a mature World Cup campaign, Jennings insisted that former New Zealand skipper Vettori was the right choice and that Kohli’s time at the helm would come eventually.
Kohli, playing with class and experience beyond his years, weighed in with a ton in the tournament opener against Bangladesh and followed that up with established showings against Ireland, West Indies, Australia and Sri Lanka as India claimed ultimate glory in the ODI showpiece.
“Kohli will be the number one player in India batting-wise, after five years,” Jennings said.
“He will also lead India one day. He is still young at the international level and it is better to wait for a few years before we make him the captain.
“Vettori brings in tremendous skills that will be extremely useful on the Indian pitches.
“We hope that Dan will inspire the young Royal Challengers as much with his performance as with his leadership skills in the upcoming season.”
Vettori replaces Anil Kumble, who led Bangalore for the last two years, when they finished as runners-up in 2009 and semi-finalists in 2010. The former India captain has since moved into the non-playing role of chief mentor at the franchise.
“The boss Vijay Mallya is a big-time player,” Jennings added.
“He knows what decisions to make. He knows Kumble and my working relationship has been successful. He knows we have put the team on the map and that’s why Kumble is now the chief mentor of the team.”
While Kohli was the only star retained ahead of January’s player auction, Bangalore have since bought Proteas star AB de Villiers, Aussie seamer Dirk Nannes and Sri Lankan batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan.
“We have the new flavour. Though we are all professionals, it’s the human touch within the team that makes us unique. When you have players like AB, Dirk, Vettori, Dilshan and Kohli, there is so much respect within the team for each other. They know how to respect others so they receive more from the other members. Our goal is to win the IPL,” concluded Jennings. Cricket365