Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has lauded senior player Virat Kohli for his leadership skills, stating the Delhi-lad has done a wonderful job to keep India number one team in the world in Test cricket.
However, Shastri has given some hints regarding Kohli’s captaincy in One-Day International (ODI) and said he might quit the ODI captaincy in the near future. Shastri mentioned if mental fatigue arises more and Kohli would want to focus on his batting, then he could follow the route he has taken in the shortest format.
Shastri cited examples of a few captains in the past who gave up their leadership roles in order to put more focus on their batting.
Notably, ahead of the T20 World Cup, Kohli had announced that he would be leaving the captaincy position in T20Is after India’s campaign in the multi-team tournament. The ‘Men in Blue’ played their last fixture in the competition against Namibia as they failed to book a place in the semi-final stage.
“In red-ball cricket, India has been the No1 team in the world for the last 5 years under Virat Kohli. So unless he wants to give up or if he is mentally fatigued and says he wants to focus on his batting – which can happen in the near future, don’t think it will happen immediately – it can happen,” Shastri told India Today.
“The same might happen with the ODI. He might say he wants to focus just on Test captaincy. It is his mind and body that will make that decision. He won’t be the first, there are many players in the past who have had very successful tenures and captains and then given it up to focus on batting,” he added.
Shastri further heaped praises on Kohli’s captaincy, stating what the 33-year-old has achieved quite a lot as a skipper for Indian cricket. The former India coach maintained that there were plenty of stuff written about Kohli, but he has leant to ignore all of them.
“He deserves his due as a captain; what he has achieved is unreal. What he has got used to is that there will be things written which is just there to stir the pot—a sportsman’s ability to ignore all that is what will make him play longer than he thinks. Ignorance is bliss. If he follows that, and I think he is doing it, then he will not have a problem to play for another 6-7 years. Planted crap will always be there,” Shastri added further.