“He has to tone down. You cannot be like that always. I know he is very good player. He has a big reputation. He is considered as the future captain and he has to behave like a captain,” Azharuddin told reporters.
Kohli, who successfully captained India to a 3-0 unassailable lead against Zimbabwe in the ongoing ODI series, has been in news on and off for his dose of aggression and on-field spats.
Recently, Kohli, miffed at being given out to a controversial catch during the second ODI against Zimbabwe, ended up arguing aggressively with on-field officials even after the third umpire ruled against him.
“Kohli’s nature is different, I understand that but then everybody looks upto him. Being aggressive is good but he has to be aggressive from inside, showing it on the outside won’t help. If he tones down a little bit it will be good for him,” said Azharuddin, under whose captaincy India have won 103 ODIs and 14 Tests.
With the young Indian side winning three tournaments — Champions Trophy, ODI series in West Indies and one-dayers in Zimbabwe, — on the trot, Azharuddin felt it would be difficult for the out-of-favour seniors to make a comeback into the national squad.
“It is difficult for the seniors to make a comeback, the young team has been doing so well. So unless some players get injured, it will be very very hard for these players to comeback. But they have been playing for India for so many years, they are experienced players. They have to perform well at domestic tournaments. If they do well, they can comeback. They all are in the running,” the 50-year-old said.
Senior players including Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan — who formed the core of India’s World Cup winning team in 2011 are currently out of team either with injuries or bad form.
Asked if India will need the experience of these seniors when they tour South Africa, Azharuddin said: “We need experience and young players also. Young players have been doing well and you can’t drop players just because they don’t have experience, it won’t be good for their confidence. So we have to select a balanced side for South Africa.”
On the controversial Decision Review System, Azharuddin said: “So much of technology is creating havoc. Even for a straight forward decision, like a run out where the batsmen are out by two yards, umpires are still referring to the third umpire. They are so scared now and it is not good.
“Umpires should be given more responsibility. The game has been going for many years. Suddenly we are having too much technology. The game is a great leveller and I think more power should be given to the on-field umpires,” he said.
Asked if he was happy with the findings of BCCI’s probe panel, which found no evidence against N Srinivasan’s team Chennai Super Kings, he said: “They have given to the IPL governing body to decide. I don’t know what transpired there. It is very difficult for me to comment on that. Whatever they have said we have to accept it.”