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Ravi Shastri dismisses all talk of Anushka Sharma's role in Virat Kohli's ordinary run of form at the World Cup

Ravi Shastri talks about Virat Kohli's form, the performance of the bowlers and Steve Smith's imperious run of form.

Virat Kohli

Indian Team Director Ravi Shastri has come to the defence of batting mainstay Virat Kohli, for his ordinary show in the 2015 World Cup, saying that the 26-year-old’s lean run had nothing to do with the presence of his girlfriend Anushka Sharma. The 52-year-old said gave a reminder about his terrific performances in the Test series against Australia.

“If it was so, Virat wouldn't have got 700 runs and smashed four centuries in Tests in Australia. His work ethics is as good as any I have seen. His heart beats for India.

“It's a pedigree you don't see often. And to tell you the truth, he isn't a finished article yet,” Shastri told PTI in an interview.

Commenting on Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s future, now that he will no longer play Test Cricket for India, the former captain said that the 33-year-old’s performances in limited-overs cricket would only get better from now and added that he will have a lot more time to iron out his weaknesses in his batting.

"He would only get better now that he has retired from Test cricket. He would be fitter and would have time to work on his batting. He would still have a lot of time to torture bowlers around the world," he said.

The Indian bowlers were superb in the World Cup: Shastri

The former opener was also effusive in his praise for the way the Indian bowlers performed in the tournament and also credited the performance of Ravichandran Ashwin in the competition.

“They bowled like fast bowlers. I call Shami nawab of Kolkata; Umesh the one of Vidarbha and Mohit Sharma was Haryana Express faster than Rajdhani.

“The Indian medium-pace trio was as good as any in this competition. How many times you see a Hashim Amla and a Younis Khan ducking into a short ball and fending a catch to fielders inside a circle? They bowled with the mindset of a fast bowler,” the 1983 World Cup winner said.

"His(Ashwin) variation of pace was the key to his show," he added.

Talking about the road ahead for the present team, the former all-rounder said that this group of players were hungry for success and despite having a torrid time in the Test and Tri-series leg of their tour of Australia, the guys have learnt a great deal and have gained a lot of confidence from the time they have spent Down Under.

“They are young, fit and hungry.They are ambitious. People don't realise this tour of Australia has done their confidence a world of good. It would keep them, and India, in good stead,” Shastri said.

Couldn't find a weakness in Smith’s batting: Shastri

The former right-handed batsman also praised Steve Smith for the way he dominated the summer, saying that the 25-year-old has an exceptional hand-eye coordination and added that he just couldn’t find a single weakness in his game during the entire summer.

“He has tremendous hand-eye co-ordination, a very sharp cricketing brain and he invariably finds gaps in the field,"  

"A lot of teams asked me for weakness in his game. They asked we (Indians) ought to know since we have been here for four months. My answer always was: 'let me know his weakness in case you find it'.


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