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Ravi Shastri compares Virat Kohli with Viv Richards, says India can beat any side in any condition

Shastri hailed Kohli as an 'in you face' kind of batsman and Dhoni as 'a legend' of the game, asking the critics to pay respect to them.

Shastri lauded the Indian limited-overs captain and the vice-captain.

Indian Cricket Team director Ravi Shastri on Thursday said that Virat Kohli seems like a mirror-image of West Indian great Vivian Richards. Kohli was in outstanding form as India whitewashed Australia in their own backyard in the recently concluded T20 series.

Kohli’s batting reminded me of Viv: Shastri

Shastri analysed the present Indian team ahead of the World T20 at home next month and also praised Kohli. He said, "Some of his batting reminded me of Viv, like the way the great man dominated all formats of the game he played. He is an in your face kind of batsman."

The comparison wasn’t a bad one since the West Indian legend himself had stated that he sees a bit of himself in the flamboyant Indian, a praise that Kohli finds surreal. The Indian batsman sizzled with half-centuries in all three T20 games, in addition to two centuries in the preceding ODI series.

Earlier, Kohli has credited Shastri for his revival after the horrible England tour of 2014. His problems while facing deliveries outside off-stump were neutralised after he chose to take a middle-off guard, stood outside the crease and adjusted the width of his feet in his stance as suggested by Shastri. Shastri said, “Those were really minor issues. The important thing is he was ready to give it a try."

Largely due to the top-order, rest of India’s batting went untested. However, critics still murmured whether Mahendra Singh Dhoni has done justice to his role as a batsman and captain.

Don't mess around with legends like Dhoni: Shastri

To those critics, the former cricketer said, "Just one word to them, and I repeat myself: don't mess around with legends. Ask them to look for a word in the dictionary: Respect. His contribution is second to none in Indian cricket."

Shastri also lauded seniors Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh who were instrumental in the last T20 match against Australia. He said, "Raina is flamboyant and a match-winner. But I am really pleased for Yuvi. Those two hits would do wonders to his confidence. He is also more than useful as a bowler and adds variety to the attack."

Shastri insisted the present Indian team is much more than just these individuals and there is a reason why it is the world's best team in Tests and T20s and second in ODI rankings. From a mid-ranked team in ICC rankings in 2014, India is now 1-1-2 in the three formats of the game.

Talking about the upcoming World T20, he said, "T20 could be a lottery. But how well we start would matter. Having said so, we are a strong team who could beat any side in any condition anywhere in the world."

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