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Indian Head Coach Ravi Shastri heaps praise on Virat Kohli, calls him 'perfect captain'

Published Jan 01, 2020
Jan 01, 2020 IST

Ravi Shastri (left) and Virat Kohli (right)
Ravi Shastri (left) and Virat Kohli (right)

Indian head coach Ravi Shastri recently spoke about the recent performances of the Indian cricket team and praised the Indian bowling unit that made the difference in Tests this year. He also spoke very highly of Virat Kohli, both the player as well as the captain.

The third-highest scorer of the decade in Tests, Virat Kohli amassed 7202 runs in 141 innings at an average of 54.97 in the decade (2010-2019). Kohli has improved remarkably as a Test player, finishing at the top spot in the ICC Test rankings at the end of 2019. Speaking to IANS, Ravi Shastri discussed how Kohli enjoys the format the most that inspire young talents to follow the footsteps.

Massive...not just for the Indian team, but the world when it comes to Test cricket. More than anything else, when a player like him endorses the game in an open manner where he is very clear what he wants out of Test cricket and that he enjoys that format the most.
So, as a young kid watching the game, when they see a superstar embracing Tests, you will want to emulate him whether you are an Indian, English, Australian, Pakistani or Sri Lankan.

Indian cricket's notable achievement in recent times has been the dependable bowling unit in all formats of the game. When India toured South Africa in 2017-18, the Indian bowlers took as many as 57 wickets in three Tests despite losing the series 1-2.

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Recalling the time when Indian bowlers showed a glimpse of competitiveness under his guidance, Shastri praised the bowlers and spoke about how they learned to bowl as a unit. question about that. I was very clear in South Africa after we had a team meeting after the first day of the Cape Town Test. Then seeing what they did in the second innings, I had no doubt in my mind that if they carry on in this fashion, very soon you will be an attack that will have to be contended with. The fact that they learnt to bowl as a unit, you know made all the difference.
You bat as a unit and the same goes for the bowling. You understand the situation and go with a common game plan. It is all related to team play. Once I knew that was happening in South Africa, I knew it was a matter of time for the world to notice.
India vs. South Africa (Freedom Trophy 2017-18 series)
India vs. South Africa (Freedom Trophy 2017-18 series)

Virat Kohli has been India's most successful captain in Tests with 33 wins in 53 matches and has recorded 13 Test victories overseas - the most successful record by an Indian captain outside India. He also has a winning percentage of 74.69% in ODIs for India.

On Kohli, the captain, Shastri said:

I have not seen one perfect captain. You will have captains with different strengths and weaknesses. I have not seen any perfect captain till today. He might have great strength in one area and might be lacking in another where someone else will be better. So, you have to see the end result and what he makes of his strength and how it affects the team and the opponent.
With Virat you can see he is someone who is improving by the day. The passion, the energy, the drive he brings to the cricket field is unmatched. I have not seen any other captain bring that kind of energy onto the cricket field. Tactically there are areas where by doing the job and getting the exposure he will get better. For whoever has captained in this game, there has been a learning curve. I can’t think of one captain who didn’t have to learn from day one. You learn from situations and what he has done is remarkable.

Coach Ravi Shastri also spoke about how the think tank is always open to discussing new ideas.

There is always room for fresh ideas. There will be discussions on that and it cannot be that everything you say is right. This team is open to reasoning and even the youngest member in the team can come up with a thought and at the end of the day, we put our heads combined to see what is best in the interest of the team.

India will be touring New Zealand (January-March), Sri Lanka (July), and Australia (November-December) in away series this year as per the Future Tours Programme (FTP). With the T20 World Cup set to take place in October, India will be looking for another successful year in 2020.

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