It takes some serious marbles: Ravi Shastri on Virat Kohli’s captaincy

first_imgIndia coach Ravi Shastri lauded Virat Kohli’s ability to lead from the front despite the intense pressure and said his passion fires up the Indian team in its quest for success.Kohli was the top scorer in ODIs and Tests in 2018 but India lost back-to-back Test series in South Africa and England. The captain and the team management were criticised over team combinations and tactical decisions on the field but India finally turned it around in Australia where they won their first ever Test series.Kohli played a couple of gritty knocks – none more than the hundred on a difficult pitch in Perth – and his captaincy was astute.After India lost the Test series 1-4 to England last year, Sunil Gavaskar had questioned Kohli’s captaincy while others wondered what could have been had India got their playing XI right.Ravi Shastri, a tough cricketer in his time, a seasoned broadcaster and now a coach who is popular with his men, said few international cricket captains match Kohli’s passion on the field.”I have seen very few international cricket captains have that kind of passion when one goes out in the middle,” Shastri told India Today in an exclusive interview. “Yes, one’s personality can be different, some may be quiet, some may be reserved. But this guy is in your face. What it does i that it sends a message to the opposition, it sends a message to your dressing room.”Shastri said players in the Indian dressing room now want to emulate their captain and youngsters taking their first step in international cricket feel more confident.advertisement”As a player in the team, you want to emulate him, you want to get behind him. It makes the team more confident, the youngsters more confident.”Players who come into the team and pick it up straight away. It makes a world of difference. That passion and the drive give confidence to the bowlers. It serves more than one role.”When you see him on the field with that kind of passion, where he is so expressive.. it makes a world of difference.”Every time he goes out to bat, the whole Australian team wants him to get out. But to take that kind of pressure and lead from the from… it takes some serious marbles,” Shastri said.Kohli had to deal with plenty of tough questions following heartbreaking defeats in South Africa and England.After the last Test of the five-match series in England, Kohli was asked if he genuinely thought it was the best Indian team in the last 15 years. Kohli had snapped and expresses his displeasure at the question. With a deadpan face, Kohli had retorted, “We have to believe we are the best side. Why not?”When the journalist said he was not sure, Kohli responded with: “You’re not sure? That is your opinion. Thank you.”Four months later in Sydney, Cheteshwar Pujara was asked if he believed this was the best Indian team he was ever part of, the man-of-the-series said yes without even having to think.Virat Kohli, standing not far away, smiled and applauded.This Indian team is now set for bigger things – Ravi Shastri, the coach, deserves to soak in the adulation with his team and enjoy the “satisfying feeling” of winning a Test series in one of the toughest countries to play cricket in.Also Read | Rishabh Pant now needs to learn how to finish games, says Ravi ShastriAlso Read | MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma arrive in Australia for ODI seriesAlso Read | Virat Kohli parties with Team India and Anushka Sharma after historic series win. See photoslast_img

Leave a Comment