After more than a decade of giving Indian fans memories galore, it seems like the great Sachin Tendulkar has now passed on the baton to the current generation hero Virat Kohli.
Kohli is currently the top ranked batsmen in the ICC rankings and is in the form of his life. Ravi Shastri, the team director of the Indian national team for the recently concluded World Cup is back behind the back in the IPL this season and has opened up about the genius of Kohli.
Shastri recently spoke to Wisden India recently and opened up about his time at the helm of the Indian national team.
He revealed that he was up for the challenges that were in front of him and that it was important for him to get close to the players in the team.
“My personality is such that I take up challenges of that sort. I want to cut across barriers and come straight to the point, which is communication and trust. For me, that was the first nail I had to put in,” Shastri said.
He also spoke about what he thought of the Indian team before taking charge.
He said, “I always believed they were a terrific side. They were low on confidence and they were probably not approaching the game in the right way, the way it should be played when you consider the talent they have.”
One of the biggest problems Shastri had to face in his time as the team director was the relationship with Duncan Fletcher, the coach of the national side.
Shastri revealed that he had no trouble with anyone in the team and revealed that there was only one opinion that mattered.
“It was very clear who was in charge. And what was the road ahead? It wasn’t a case of three people giving their opinions. It was one guy saying after consulting with everybody that this is the way to go ahead,” he added.
One of the best moments of Shastri’s time came early in 2014 during India’s tour of Australia.
Virat Kohli was simply unplayable in the Adelaide Test and Shastri complemented the 27-year old and said that it was the best 4th innings batting he has ever seen.
He said, “It is the best fourth-innings batting I have ever seen in my years as a player, broadcaster, and team director. It was an unbelievable innings, just the tempo he went at was fabulous.”
He was all praises for the current Indian ODI skipper and revealed what makes him different from the rest of the players in the world.
“I think what sets him apart is the intent. He doesn’t believe it is a fourth-day track. He believes there is equal opportunity to score runs then as he had on day one. He thinks in that fashion,” Shastri said, talking about Kohli’s uniqueness as a batsman.
He was so satisfied with Kohli’s effort over the last few years that he compared the 27-year old to one of the greatest players of the game.
Shastri took West Indies’ Sir Vivian Richards’ name to explain the mindset of Kohli.
“I saw that with Viv. I saw an innings he played against us when he made a brilliant hundred in the fourth innings to win the game,” he said talking about Kohli’s temperament.