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Ravi Shastri Reckons Virat Kohli Has 5 Years Of “Good Cricket Ahead Of Him” And Opting For A Break Would Benefit Him

Virat Kohli (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Virat Kohli (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Ravi Shastri, former Indian head coach suggested that ex-skipper Virat Kohli need a couple of month’s break from the game and that the period of rest will do the star batter a world of good. Ravi Shastri said he wants Virat Kohli to continue as a team player and that the former captain has a good 5 years of cricket left in him.

Virat Kohli quit as India’s Test captain a day after they lost a Test series 2-1 in South Africa. Virat Kohli was under considerable pressure after he alleged miscommunication between him and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an explosive press conference ahead of India’s departure for South Africa.

Virat Kohli | Photo Credit: AP
Virat Kohli | Photo Credit: AP

Ravi Shastri: Virat Kohli Has 5 Years Of Cricket Left And Taking a 2- 3 Month Break Would Be Helpful For Him

Virat Kohli played as non-captain for the first time in more than 5 years in the ODI series against South Africa and hit 2 fifties in losing causes even as the former skipper’s body language came under the scanner. Speaking to Shoaib Akhtar for the former Pakistan cricketer’s YouTube channel, Ravi Shastri said a break from cricket will help the former captain recharge and return to give his best with the bat.

“The pressure started building. People were looking for opportunities. No human being is perfect. I have seen greats of the game quit captaincy to focus on their cricket whether it’s Gavaskar, Tendulkar or MS. He played 94 Test, he could have easily played 10 or 15 more matches but he gave it up.”

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

“He realises he is 33, he realises he has 5 years of good cricket ahead of him. If he can calm down, focus on his batting, take one game at a time, probably take a break from the game as well, I think, if he goes out for 2-3 months, if he takes a break from one series, it will do him a world of good,” Shastri said.

“He can come back and play those 3-4 years like a king, absolute king where he is clear mentally, and knows exactly what his role is and play as a team player. That’s what I want to see Virat Kohli do now, come, contribute as a team player and win games for India. That will be the legacy he will leave.”

Virat Kohli’s decision to quit Test captaincy helped raise quite a few eyebrows as he evolved into India’s most successful Test captain, winning 40 Tests in 68 matches. Virat Kohli had said in September last year that he wanted to continue as ODI and Test captain after announcing his decision to quit T20I captaincy. However, Virat Kohli was sacked as India’s ODI captain in December following India’s early exit at the 2021 T20I World Cup.

Ravi Shastri: Virat Kohli Couldn’t Have Achieved More As A Captain

Elaborating on Virat Kohli’s decision to give up captaincy across formats, Ravi Shastri said it’s only normal that star players decide to give up the leadership responsibility to focus on their batting.

“I think, with Virat also he realised it was getting to him, especially in this bio-bubble environment, leading in all 3 formats of the game. You can’t take a break also. He did the right thing by quitting from white-ball cricket.”

Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli PTI Photo by Shashank Parade (PTI11_21_2014_000176B)
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli PTI Photo by Shashank Parade (PTI11_21_2014_000176B)

“When it came to Test cricket, I was a little surprised because for the last 5 years we were the No. 1 team in the longest format of the game. After one series defeat, it doesn’t mean he had to quit captaincy. At the end of the day, I always respect a cricketer’s judgement because I don’t know what he is feeling.

“Sometimes when it comes to here (neck), your body tells you ‘enough’. He couldn’t have achieved more as a captain. 40 wins in 68 captains is a stunning record,” Ravi Shastri said.

Recently, Virat Kohli resigned from the T20 captaincy, after which he was sacked from the ODI captaincy and then he resigned from his Test captaincy as well. Ravi Shastri feels that Virat Kohli could’ve easily captained the Test team for the next two years, considering the fact that the Indian team will be playing against lower-ranked teams.

Virat Kohli’s exit from the leadership role also means that his 100th Test against Sri Lanka next month will be only as a batter looking to end a two-year-long century drought.

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