Ray Jennings was one of the first fans of Virat Kohli’s captaincy credentials and the Royal Challengers Bangalore coach asserted that in an interaction with the media here on Tuesday.

“I said it three years ago, Kohli will captain India. He has the captaincy ability and he is a superb human being. He is fiery and that is also a very good thing for the side. He has to get his captaincy-way correct because (M.S.) Dhoni is not going to be around for a long time and he (Kohli) has to be ready,” Jennings said during a wide-ranging chat that dealt with RCB’s prospects in the Indian Premier League.

Excerpts:

Kohli’s coronation

“I think the Royal Challengers’ captaincy is a stepping stone for Kohli to take over from Dhoni. He is a superb cricketer, probably one of the best at his age in the world. All we got to do is to give him the experience and lead him. He is a young guy and I am going to be there to help him.”

The team

“We are a lot stronger than we were last year but in Twenty20 anything can happen. We know that if (Chris) Gayle spends 100 balls on the wicket, we make three thousand, if he gets out first ball, sometimes you lose the game. On paper the side is good and the whole unit is happy.”

Men in form

“Everyone is playing according to a plan. (Cheteshwar) Pujara, last year, really wasn’t part of the team and he has performed. His challenge is to now play the same quality cricket in the 20-over format as he does in Tests. Kohli is in the top one or two in world ratings, A.B. de Villiers is right up there, Dilshan is coming off a hundred and Gayle has got runs so as a unit the side is looking good from a batting point of view. From the bowling point of view, we have reinforced our attack during the auction. We got spinning options as well with Murali Kartik coming in.”

Fitness concerns

“Pujara has a finger that is worrying him at the moment. He will be ready in one or two weeks’ time. Zaheer Khan will be ready to play in all the games. He will be hundred per cent fit. I don’t really know about it (Ravi Rampaul’s current fitness) and I can only report later (after he arrives). They are all professionals and they want to make an impact.”

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