Team India skipper Virat Kohli has been bold but a bit brash during the early days of his international cricket, but with the time he has evolved as a dynamic leader after acknowledging the distinct suggestions. For this, he has credited national team head coach Ravi Shastri, for yielding the desired results while being at the helm.
“Ever since 2014, I think he’s [Shastri] one person who’s given me honest feedback whenever things required to be altered,” Kohli told Star Sports.
With the change in Kohli’s mindset for the traditional format has benefitted Indian National Cricket Team a lot after he succeeded Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s as a captain.
The top-order batsman Kohli who made his entry as a Test captain on India’s Australia tour in 2014-15. He has often thrown support behind Shastri for ample support.
Kohli further reminisced about his Test century and a half-century in England which earned him the reputation. But Kohli added Shastri suggested him one should develop on his leadership qualities—to get best out of the unit. Eventually, it struck his mind.
“I remember we sat down. I’d scored a Test century and a fifty in the same game in England. So he called me and he said, as far as batting is concerned, I’m not going to discuss anything with you now. Because you’ve done something which I am proud of and everyone is proud of. But as a captain, we need to start thinking how to get the best out of this team and how to tactically be spot on. And that really hit me because I felt like, you know, there’s so much more to captaincy than you sometimes think,” Kohli asserted.
Pertinently, the relationship between Kohli and Shastri has been in the news following the resignation from Anil Kumble in 2017, as Team India’s chief coach. At the same time, Kohli draws flak for his approach as a leader.
Following prominent leg-spinner Kumble’s exit, Shastri and Kohli weathered criticism for allegedly working in hand-in-glove, in 2017.
However, with India topping the Test chart, both have garnered am amazing support across certain quarters.
Without an iota of doubt, Shastri has put all his effort to keep the team working in tandem. It helped India to deliver best in away conditions. Kohli has further talked about those baby steps which push the team to scale new heights.
“Just to be able to get feedback from a person who makes you feel like the small contributions are much bigger in the in the scheme of things than you going out there and scoring runs yourself [was useful]. It’s [about] how you speak to the players, how you motivate the team. How you take decisions in crunch situations, how you’re aware where the game is heading,” Kohli stated.
Talking about the stability in the team, Kohli has hailed Shastri’s efforts. He further remarked the former Team India cricketer had instilled confidence among the players to play with intent and aggression. Also, it paved the way for success.
“I think he’s struck the perfect balance for this team. And he’s the one person who was there when we were No. 7 [in the rankings] in 2014. He was there and you know the transition started under him. And we started feeding off that mindset and started bringing that in, which I could eventually go out there and boost more [on the field]. But I think it was his vision for us to be fearless and play a certain kind of cricket. I think he deserves a lot of credit for,” Kohli said.
Moreover, Kohli added the feedback from his coach has helped him to improve his game. And in particular, the standard of the captaincy respectively which led to the watershed moment in Indian cricket.
“So just get getting feedback from him constantly has been the biggest help for me, in terms of moulding my own personality into captaincy. He’s someone who has never tried to change me just to be able to fit into the captaincy mode. And I think that was the most important thing. He‘s been the most amazing support for the team and someone who’s backed the team through and through,” Kohli added.
In conclusion, Kohli reiterated Shastri has been best in business who has been following cricket in close quarters.
“He’s one person, because he’s done so much commentary. And he’s seen the game so much and has played so much himself. Just watching the game – he knows where the game is heading,” Kohli concluded.
It would be interesting what 2019 holds for the Indian National Cricket Team in the Test fold. As of now, it is in the safest of hands with king Kohli rule the roost.