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Ravi Shastri

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid - K. MURALI KUMAR
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Rahul Dravid Will Bring In A Lot To The Table As Team India Coach, Says Shane Warne

Rahul Dravid, the current head coach of India will bring in a “lot of steel” in the current Indian team and his role will be more of a ‘Man Manager’ rather than of a conventional coach which is an obsolete concept nowadays, reckons Australian spin wizard Shane Warne.

Shane Warne had some great on-field battles with Rahul Dravid during their playing days. The legendary leg-spinner has the utmost respect for the new Indian head coach but as has been his stance for nearly three decades now, he doesn’t believe in “terminology” at an elite level.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

Rahul Dravid Will Bring In A Lot To The Table: Shane Warne

Former Australia spinner Shane Warne said Rahul Dravid will bring in a lot of tactical inputs to the India cricket team and his appointment as head coach is a big positive.

“Rahul Dravid will bring in a lot to the table. Terrific cricketer, great person. I think he will bring in a lot of steel, a lot of toughness to the group,” Warne said.

“I think he will bring in a lot of tactical stuff that will be good. Rahul is fantastic for Indian cricket,” he added.

However, Shane Warne then explained what he feels about the concept at the international level.

“The coach, it is the terminology which I don’t like in international cricket. In domestic cricket, the coaches are really important, but in international cricket, he should be called a manager not a coach,” Warne explained.

Elaborating further, he said, “Getting front-elbow up and coaching them like kids isn’t what is required at international level. At the highest level, the emphasis is on the mental and tactical side of the game and that’s not the job of a conventional coach”.

Shane Warne - Getty Images
Shane Warne – Getty Images

“It’s about the mental side and the tactical side and that’s where man management comes in. By the time you go international cricket, you know how to play. Sometimes you just forget how to play and make things too complicated and that’s why you don’t get coached at international level. You are managed. Does that make sense?” the flamboyant cricketer asked.

Rahul Dravid took over as India’s head coach after Ravi Shastri’s tenure came to an end following the 2021 T20I World Cup last year. Under Rahul Dravid, India won a T20I series against New Zealand at home but his first overseas tour as the in-charge of the Indian team ended in disappointment as India lost both the Test and the ODI series earlier this month in South Africa.

Shane Warne Reckoned He Was A Mentally Strong And Down To Earth Cricketer

In the ’90s and till mid-2000, Australia had leg spinner Shane Warne while India had Anil Kumble and Pakistan had Mushtaq Ahmed as the world’s premier wrist spinners. This art form has not been put to great use in the last one and half decades with the only name to shine through the ranks being Pakistan’s, Yasir Shah. Shane Warne feels the present-day captains get field settings wrong when a wrist spinner bowls nowadays.

“Yes, that’s true,” Warne quipped. “You need someone that understands spin bowling, thoughtfulness and you needed to show empathy, and it’s not easy bowling leg-spinners.

It’s a tough skill and tough art to sort of do and so you need encouragement from the captains and coaches and everyone involved in the sport. Field settings are so important as I can’t even express to you how important they are and so many captains get it wrong,” he reasoned.

Shane Warne believes that batters of this generation are playing lesser and lesser quality spin bowling.

“If you look at the world game at the moment, some of the batters will get through the fast bowlers and a lot of spinners, they will get through after that. When you compare that to the ’90s batters, they had a lot of spinners to get through. I am just saying it’s a different game now. We see so many doing well in T20 cricket, hope we see some of them doing well in Test cricket too.”

Shane Warne
Shane Warne

Shane Warne had his share of problems on and off the field but he wouldn’t call himself an anti-establishment man.

“Not at all. I was never anti-establishment at all. If I disagreed with something, I would challenge that person. In the case of coach John Buchanan, I challenged him and I was not afraid to challenge anyone.”

“If I challenged John Buchanan about tactical aspects of the game, then it was also about the captain. I would challenge anyone in our team and I would also expect to get challenged too. If someone wanted a different game plan, I was always open for suggestions. No matter what, I would always try something new,” Shane Warne said.

It is only human to make mistakes but it is the tough times in which an individual’s character comes through and that’s one aspect where Shane Warne feels that his mental toughness worked wonders.

“It’s easy to get through life if everything goes great but it’s about how you handle tough times. I am very proud of how I responded to the tough times, whether it was cricket when we lost to the West Indies by one run in a Test match or in personal life.

Shane Warne said that he was mentally strong. The legendary leg-spinner took over 1000 wickets across Test and ODI cricket, which are records that are unlikely to ever be broken.

“I was very very strong mentally and toughness that I had, and I was able to compartmentalize and no matter what was going on in my life was able to focus on my cricket,” he said.

Shane Warne reckons that he was a mentally tough cricketer and considers himself a ‘down to earth, honest, and super competitive person” that reflected on the cricket field.

“There are lots of positives about my life, lot of positives about my personality and negatives as well. If I have to sum up myself, then I would call myself, “Down to earth”, honest, and super competitive, and on the cricket field I showed that,” he concluded.

India will next face West Indies in 3 ODIs and as many T20Is at home in February. Rohit Sharma, who missed the South Africa tour, will be back to lead the side in the limited-overs formats.

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

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.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP

I Never Thought Of Making A Fast Bowler As A Captain – Ravi Shastri

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri admitted that he never gave a thought to making a fast bowler as a captain. He believes that it’s difficult for a fast bowler to remain available for all matches due to the heavy workload in modern cricket. Notable that since India is looking for a new Test captain, India speedster Jasprit Bumrah has emerged out as one of the candidates to lead India in the longest format.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“The next 8-10 is a very important period for Indian cricket”- Ravi Shastri

Speaking to Shoaib Akhtar on his Youtube channel, Ravi Shastri said that the fast bowler captain needs to be an all-rounder, more so the case in Asia as he gave the examples of Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, and Gary Sobers.

“I never thought of making a fast bowler as a captain. I never thought in that fashion at that time. It would be difficult in India. I think a fast bowler captain has to be an all-rounder or he has to be a Bob Willis kind of bowler who will be aggressive and try to take wickets. Very rarely has a fast bowler been captain unless he is an all-time great all-rounder like Kapil Dev, Imran Khan or Sir Gary.” he said.

Shastri also stated that the next 8-110 months would be very important for Indian cricket as it’s going through a transition period. As two World Cups are scheduled in the next two years, India would need a mixture of youth and experience to make a worthy contender for the title.

“It’s a very important period for Indian cricket, there will be a period of transition in the next 8-10 months. It’s important to identify the right kind of players who will take you forward in 4-5 years.

“I always believe that there should be a mix between youth and experience. Sometimes, that balance needs to be changed for the sake of the future, this is that time in Indian cricket. India will have to bring in the youth now quickly, use the experience in hand and then take it forward,” he stated.

I Never Thought Of Making A Fast Bowler As A Captain - Ravi Shastri 2
(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Shastri also recalled his coaching stint with the Indian team. He talked about the series defeats in South Africa and England in 2018 as he believes that the team took those defeats in their stride to turn things around in Australia later. India lost by 1-2 in South Africa in 2018 while they faced a thrashing defeat by 1-4 in England in the same year.

“I had said that I wanted to make India the best traveling side in the world, people started laughing, but indirectly it was a challenge to the boys. We lost in England 4-1 at first, I believe that series could have been 3-2 in our favour, just needed a little luck. Then closely, we lost 2-1 to South Africa. But After losing in England and South Africa, I knew that we were on the way,” he said.

In the 2018-19 Australia tour, India became the first-ever Asian side to win a series in Australia. And India repeated the heroics in the 2020-21 tour when they famously beat the hosts at the Gabba to clinch the series.

“We turned a corner in Australia, now Australia is probably the toughest place in the world to play. They’re born to play hard, they’re physically fit and they want to win at all costs. I knew that if we could compete here, it would be the ultimate thing,” he added.

Also, read Shane Warne Backs Ravichandran Ashwin And Nathan Lyon To Take 1000 Test Wickets

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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I Will Not Discuss Any Of My Players On The Public Platforms: Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri, the former Team India head coach has said that many people have already spoken about Virat Kohli stepping down as Test captain and it is not his duty to get into gossip.

Former Indian captain Virat Kohli has always been criticized for not winning an ICC trophy in his tenure as a captain despite being one of the best batters of his generation. 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 Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source: AP

Ravi Shastri Won’t Discuss Any Matter Pertaining To Indian Team Or Cricketers As His Job As Coach Was Over

Virat Kohli’s era as Test captain of Team India came to an end earlier this month after he decided to step down following the team’s loss in the three-match series (1-2) against South Africa. Virat Kohli, who won 40 out of 68 matches as Test captain, ended as India’s most successful skipper in the longest format of the game.

“Many people have already spoken about Virat Kohli and him stepping down as the captain. I do not have the time to get into gossip and get into details. I took a break after seven years in the game, I have been part of the team and I am very clear, that I do not wash dirty linen in public.

“The day I finished, it will be blank. I will not discuss any of my players on the public platforms, I have been very clear on this,” Ravi Shastri said in an exclusive interview.

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

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.

Virat Kohli Holds Record For Most Test Appearances-68 And Most Wins-40 As India’s Test Skipper

Virat Kohli had stepped down as the Test skipper after India suffered a Test series loss (2-1) against South Africa despite winning the 1st Test. India then went on to lose the ODI series 0-3 against the Proteas.

When asked about the series loss, Ravi Shastri said: “To be honest, I did not watch the series. I did not even see a single ball. I saw the result as people talk it, but I did not see a single ball.”

Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)
Virat Kohli was in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)

Talking about the current Team India squad, Shastri said: “How the standard can go down, you have been the number one Test team for five years. Nothing can be done, you cannot win every game. When you have a win ratio of 65 per cent, then what is there to worry about? You have lost one series, then all this talk?”

Virat Kohli holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68) and he also holds the record for most Test wins by an Indian captain (40). Only Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh have won more matches than Virat Kohli as captain in Test cricket. Under Ravi Shastri’s tenure as head coach, India managed to win the Test series in Australia and the side also managed to reach the finals of the World Test Championship (WTC).

Virat Kohli presided over India’s first-ever Test series win in Australia and led the team to a 2-1 lead in England last summer before the fifth Test was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp.

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Virat Kohli | Photo Credit: AP
Virat Kohli | Photo Credit: AP
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Ravi Shastri Feels Virat Kohli Could’ve Captained India In Tests For Next 2 Years Or So

Ravi Shastri, the former India head coach who also played a major role in achieving the highs for Team India, has shared his views on Virat Kohli’s captaincy era.  Virat Kohli’s era as Test captain of Team India came to an end earlier this month after he decided to step down following the team’s loss in the three-match series (1-2) against Proteas.

Virat Kohli, who won 40 out of 68 matches as Test captain, ended as India’s most successful skipper in the longest format of the game.  Under Virat Kohli, India ended its wait for a Test series win in Australia, and also topped the Test rankings for a long period of time.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ravi Shastri Feels Virat Kohli Could’ve Captained India In Tests For Next Two Years

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.

“For sure, he could’ve led India for at least 2 years because next two years India would be playing at home and who is coming over – 9 and 10 jacks, if you see the rankings,” Shastri said.

The 59-year-old added that Virat Kohli could’ve further bettered his legacy as India’s Test captain, something which other individuals might’ve found hard to digest.

“He would have then probably made it to 50 wins under his captaincy and then a lot of people would have had difficulties in digesting that fact,” he added.

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

Then a day after India lost to South Africa in the Test series, he dropped the bombshell to step down from Test captaincy as well.  Virat Kohli’s decision to retire came after India was defeated by South Africa in the Cape Town Test by 7 wickets. The tourists slumped from taking a 1-0 lead to lose the series 2-1.

Ravi Shastri Speaks Up On Virat Kohli’s Illustrious Record As Test Skipper

However, Ravi Shastri insisted that everyone should respect Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as Test captain as he has led the team successfully for a long period of time.

The 33-year-old led India in 68 games and won 40, becoming the country’s most successful Test captain in the process. He presided over India’s first-ever Test series win in Australia and led the team to a 2-1 lead in England last summer before the fifth Test was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp.

“Virat Kohli led India for 5-6 years in Tests and out of those, five years India was no. 1. No other Indian captain has this kind of record. There are only a handful of captains in the world with this kind of record. So, when the most successful captain decides to step down as captain it’s an individual’s decision because nobody has that record of 40 wins in 68 matches,” Ravi Shastri further said.

Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP

India’s next Test assignment will come during a two-match series against Sri Lanka at home between February and March. 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.

Notable that Virat Kohli resigned from the T20I captaincy after the T20I World Cup to manage his workload but he clearly stated that he would like to continue as Test and ODI skipper.  But a month later he was sacked from ODI captaincy as well. The spot of limited-overs captaincy went to Rohit Sharma who would be likely named as an all-format skipper in a few days.

Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
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India Missing Spark They Had Under Virat Kohli: Sarandeep Singh

Sarandeep Singh, the former Team India selector feels that the Men in Blue are missing the spark and aggression which they had under Virat Kohli’s captaincy.

Sarandeep Singh’s remarks came after South Africa defeated India by seven wickets in the second ODI to gain an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series on Friday.

Sarandeep Singh[photo: sites.ndtv]
Sarandeep Singh[photo: sites.ndtv]

Sarandeep Singh: Indian Team Missing The Spark Under KL Rahul Unlike Virat Kohli

KL Rahul, who is captaining India in the ODI series in the absence of the injured Rohit Sharma, has posted scores of 12 and 55 in the two ODIs against Proteas so far. Former ODI skipper Virat Kohli was dismissed without scoring in the second ODI against and in South Africa at the Boland Park in Paarl after scoring a fifty in the opening fixture. Virat Kohli, playing his first game after relinquishing Test captaincy, scored 51 off 63 balls.

“India were favourites from day one not only in Test matches but even in the ODIs. The way they lost the Test matches. In the second Test, India lost badly but the only thing is it is not about the players. It is about captaincy too the way we thought KL Rahul will be very cool and calm but if you see Virat’s captaincy then he was very energetic and pumped up.

“In the same way, the team used to play as all the players were pumped up but now what I feel sitting from outside is somehow Indian team is missing that spark. They don’t have that spark and that energy is not there,” Sarandeep Singh said.

Virat Kohli, KL Rahul | Photo Credit: AP
Virat Kohli, KL Rahul | Photo Credit: AP

“They scored big runs as 287 is a big total. SA team played like champions. They played disciplined cricket, they played for the win. If you talk about Venkatesh Iyer he is not that quick and he is an opener. He did well in the T20s and he is a big hitter. Now he is batting at number six. He can’t hit because the field is not open. He is struggling over there with the bat as well as failed to take wickets,” Sarandeep Singh added.

Despite making his name as an opener in IPL 2021, Venkatesh Iyer batted at no.6 in the first two ODIs, scoring 2 (7) and 22 (33). Meanwhile, one of the consistent stars of recent IPL seasons, Suryakumar Yadav made his ODI debut in July against Sri Lanka and scored 124 runs from three games at an average of 64. He was replaced by Shreyas Iyer in this series.

Sarandeep Singh Is In Favour Of Pacer Prasidh Krishna Being Given A Chance

Sarandeep Singh also said that pacer Prasidh Krishna should be included in the Playing XI and Jasprit Bumrah should not be rested, in order to avoid a 3-0 defeat. Prasidh Krishna, Deepak Chahar, and Mohammed Siraj are options to replace Jasprit Bumrah, who might need some rest after playing all five matches on the tour so far.

“Mohammed Siraj is still injured but I am in huge favour of Prasidh Krishna. The young tall fast bowler should be given a chance. Jasprit Bumrah should not be rested because you don’t want to be 3-0. So, you need one experienced bowler over there. So, Prasidh Krishna should be tried. You need someone to contribute with both bat, ball and fielding also,” said Sarandeep Singh.

Prasidh Krishna Source: Google/ Image Credit: India Today
Prasidh Krishna Source: Google/ Image Credit: India Today

“I think India’s fielding was also very poor the way we dropped catches. You can see how easily singles were given away. There was no fielding in the circles and surprisingly Virat Kohli is not seen in the field all the time as somehow he seems to be lost in the scenes. He is fielding in the boundaries and is not seen in the circles. So, there are few things which are missing,” Sarandeeep Singh added.

A bowling all-rounder like Ravichandran Ashwin, Jayant Yadav made his ODI debut back in 2016. He scored a run and picked up a wicket in that match, which turned out to be his only ODI so far, but he might get a match in place of too expensive Ravichandran Ashwin. The former selector further said that Team India was doing really well under the leadership of Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli, as they brought aggression into the game.

“You see what Ravi Shastri did with the team. How Ravi Shastri pumped up the team. This team was doing so well for the last seven years under Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli and they both were aggressive and modern-day cricket needs something like that. They have to be aggressive. Look at the way SA played. They were aggressive and look at the way they have won,” said the former selector Sarandeep Singh.

Quinton de Kock (78) and Janneman Malan (91) rose to the occasion with the bat as South Africa defeated India by seven wickets in the second ODI. For South Africa, Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markram remained unbeaten on 37 each.

Earlier, Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul played knocks of 85 and 55 respectively as India posted 287/6 in the allotted 50 overs. Shardul Thakur and Ravichandran Ashwin also played handy unbeaten innings of 40 and 25 respectively. For the Proteas, Tabraiz Shamsi returned with two wickets.

Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli.
Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli. (PTI)
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Sourav Ganguly Termed Media Reports Of Sending A Show Cause Notice To Virat Kohli As False

Sourav Ganguly has termed reports that claimed he wanted to send a show-cause notice to Virat Kohli as “not true”. A day after reports emerged that Sourav Ganguly wanted to send a show-cause notice to Virat Kohli ahead of the South Africa series, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president has termed such claims as false.

Sourav Ganguly replied that the allegations were false when he was asked for a comment on the reports that have emerged. Some media reports claimed that Sourav Ganguly wanted to send a show-cause notice to Virat Kohli after the former Test skipper spoke about the events leading to his removal as ODI skipper.

Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli.© AFP
Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli.© AFP

Sourav Ganguly Termed Media Reports Of Sending A Show Cause Notice To Virat Kohli As False

Last year, Virat Kohli had stepped down as the T20I captain and then he was removed as the ODI leader as the selectors wanted one captain for the white-ball format. A day after Virat Kohli was removed as the ODI captain, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said that he had indeed spoken to Virat Kohli regarding the leadership change adding, that he had requested Virat Kohli to also not give up the T20I captaincy.

However, Virat Kohli, in a press conference before Team India’s departure for South Africa, contradicted Sourav Ganguly, saying he was never asked to leave the T20I captaincy adding that even regarding the ODI captaincy, the communication could have been better.

India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
India’s Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo

Later, chief selector Chetan Sharma appeared before the press and corroborated Sourav Ganguly’s version. Following head coach Ravi Shastri’s departure as the Indian team head coach, Virat Kohli also had lost his biggest backer in the dressing-room.

It is learned that the BCCI now considers the whole issue to be over. Virat Kohli is no longer the captain in any format, after stepping down from T20I and Test leadership and being axed as ODI captain. As per media reports, while Virat Kohli did call BCCI general secretary Jay Shah before announcing his decision to resign as Test captain, he didn’t call Sourav Ganguly.

Sourav Ganguly: Virat Kohli’s Decision To Relinquish Test Captaincy A Personal One

Last week, Virat Kohli stepped down as India’s Test captain after being India’s most successful Test skipper with 40 Test wins out of 68 Tests as captain. Sourav Ganguly had then said that Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as Team India’s Test skipper was a “personal one”. The BCCI President also said the board respects Virat Kohli’s decision.

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

“Under Virat’s leadership, Indian cricket has made rapid strides in all formats of the game ..his decision is a personal one and BCCI respects it immensely ..he will be an important member to take this team to newer heights in the future. A great player. well done ..@BCCI @imVkohli,” Ganguly had tweeted.

The 33-year-old led India in 68 games and won 40, becoming the country’s most successful Test captain in the process. He presided over India’s first-ever Test series win in Australia and led the team to a 2-1 lead in England last summer before the fifth Test was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp. He stands fourth on the list of captains with most Test wins after the likes of Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Smith.

Earlier, Virat Kohli had relinquished the T20 captaincy after India’s campaign at the 2021 T20I World Cup in the UAE. He was then replaced by Rohit Sharma’s as India’s full-time white-ball skipper last month.

Vikram-Rathour-photo
Vikram-Rathour-photo
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Aakash Chopra Calls For A Relook At Indian Batting Coach Vikram Rathour’s Contributions As Batsmen Failed In South Africa 2021/22 Tour

Aakash Chopra, the former Indian opener turned commentator wants a relook at present India batting coach Vikram Rathour’s contributions amid a stark decline in the team’s performances with the willow as evident in the recent South African tour.

Aakash Chopra remarked that as people have taken credit for the improvement in the bowling department, the “buck has to stop somewhere” for the dipped averages of the middle order batting trio of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and Cheteshwar Pujara in the last couple of years or so.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: One Need To Look Whether Vikram Rathour Is Doing His Job As A Batting Coach Well

He said India needs to see if there have been any shortcomings in Vikram Rathours work and how he has addressed them. Ajinkya Rahane has managed just 479 runs in 2021 at a paltry average of 20.83 while Cheteshwar Pujara has scored 702 runs at an average of 28.08. Virat Kohli too ended the year 2021 without scoring a century in international cricket. His last ton came in a Test against Bangladesh in 2019.

In a video on his Youtube channel, Chopra said: “Everyone has taken credit for India’s bowling improvement. Some people gave credit to Virat Kohli, some to Bharat Arun, some to Ravi Shastri. Everyone said, ‘Indian bowling has improved a lot’. But who is responsible for the batting decline? … If you are taking credit then responsibility needs to be taken as well. The decline is palpable. Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli’s numbers have dipped in the last 2-2.5 years so where’s the batting coach?”

The former India batter added: “The batting coach has the responsibility and the buck has to stop somewhere. Vikram Rathour, who is with the team for quite some time, you need to look at him again whether he’s doing his job well and if not then what are the shortcomings and how is he addressing them.”

Batting coach Vikram Rathour- PTI
Batting coach Vikram Rathour- PTI

Vikram Rathour was appointed batting coach in late 2019. While the likes of head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, and fielding coach R Sridhar left last year, Vikram Rathour was the only coach to get an extension. However, India’s well-documented overseas success, which began at the same time as his arrival, has been mostly attributed to the fitter and more incisive bowling group.

Their consistency papered over the batting cracks, especially in the middle order. But it all came to a head in the recent series in South Africa, where the bowlers failed to bail out the struggling batting lineup in the last two Tests.

Aakash Chopra: The Coach Is Suddenly Like A Football Manager With An Enhanced Role As Coach’s Role Becomes More Important Than Captain

Speaking on the second major issue presently associated with Indian cricket – Virat Kohli’s sudden stepping down from the Test captaincy, Aakash Chopra said newly-appointed head coach Rahul Dravid’s job has got even tougher.  He feels that in this phase, Rahul Dravid’s role in designing India’s future path will be more important than the new captain, almost like a football club manager.

Aakash Chopra explained: “It’s difficult for the coach because he’s a new coach. If he had been there for a long time then he would have a blueprint ready for the new captain. Now there’s a new captain, a new coach and they have to travel a new path… In cricket, the captain is the most important and the coach is just below him. But in such situations, the coach goes up and the captain comes a bit behind him because there’s a guarantee of the coach’s continuity. The coach is suddenly like a football manager with an enhanced role.”

Rahul Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo: Twitter)
Rahul Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra also lamented India’s failure to build a leadership group to succeed Virat Kohli who resigned as India’s most successful Test skipper with 40 Test wins in 68 Tests. He said there had been a “slight mismanagement” with regards to the trust shown in Ajinkya Rahane as a captaincy prospect despite his poor form.

Aakash Chopra added: “We’ve failed to create a leadership group, honestly speaking. If Ajju had been in good form it would have been a natural succession. That was certainly a plan but his performances were on a downswing in the last two years and we were not ready to look at anywhere else because we believed that Kohli is going to continue for a long time. That didn’t happen and there’s been a slight mismanagement.”

After opting to bat, South Africa lost their opener, Janneman Malan, early in the fifth over of the first ODI against India at the Boland Park In Paarl against India. Jasprit Bumrah was the wicket-taker and he along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar has bowled well so far.

India Playing XI: KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter

Not Everything Is Smooth Within The Indian Set-up – Salman Butt

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt believes that Virat Kohli wouldn’t get along with the newly appointed Indian coaching set-up hence he decided to step away. Butt still believes that he has a lot to offer as a player and can play for 5 years more.

On Friday, Virat Kohli dropped a bombshell as he released a note on social media that he decided to step down the Test captaincy. The decision came after one day of India’s defeat against South Africa as the hosts beat India by 7 wickets to wrap the series by 1-0. Kohli captained India in 68 Test matches with 40 wins and 17 defeats. He had been leading India in the longest format since January 2015.

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

“Reading Kohli’s note on Twitter, I got a vibe that he’s had enough”-Salman Butt

Speaking about his decision, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt expressed his opinion over his decision. Butt opined that Kohli might have felt that he had enough.

“After reading his note on Twitter, I got a vibe that he’s had enough. And this is not the age where a player goes, “okay, I am done. Someone else please take over”. He still has 5 years on him and it’s not like he’s quitting cricket altogether,” Butt spoke on his YouTube channel.

“I am getting a feeling that not everything is smooth within the set-up. One of the other reasons could be the absence of like-mindedness. There was organizational set-up, wherein Ravi Shastri was present and his crew that worked with Kohli like a machine. (Now that they have left), I feel there is an issue with compatibility also and when that happens, everything else starts mattering,” he added.

After the T20 World Cup which was held in October-November, Indian coaching set-up Ravi Shastri & Co. decided to step away, citing the reason bio bubble fatigue. Since then, Rahul Dravid has taken over the job as India head coach. Earlier in the 3-match T20I series against New Zealand, Virat Kohli opted out for rest.

He also missed the first test against the Kiwis. Then he joined the team in Mumbai for the second test as India beat them comprehensively to wrap up the series.

Also read Virat Kohli’s Decision To Quit Test Captaincy Welcomed By Kapil Dev

Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)
Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)
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Virat Kohli Can “Go With His Head Held High”, Tweeted Former Coach Ravi Shastri

Virat Kohli had giant shoes to fill with his predecessor MS Dhoni leading India to two World Cup titles but Virat Kohli carved his own niche during his stint as India’s captain. The 33-year-old, who led from the front with his attacking batting and was never shy of expressing himself on the field, stepped down as India’s Test captain on Saturday, pulling the curtains down on an eventful seven-year innings in the leadership role.

Under Virat Kohli, the Indian Test team rose to the top of the world rankings and also notched up its maiden series win in Australia in 2019. The series triumph against the Aussies perhaps underlined the leadership skills of Virat Kohli, who wore his heart on his sleeve. He signed off with 40 wins and 17 losses in 68 Tests as captain which is the best win percentage and most wins of any Indian skipper in Tests.

Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP
Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP

Virat Kohli Holds The Record Of Most Test Appearances -68 As Skipper

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.

“It’s been seven years of hard work, toil, and relentless perseverance every day,” Kohli wrote in his statement mentioning that he was quitting the role.

Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh
Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh

His inability to win a world title drew criticism but Virat Kohli’s impressive captaincy numbers conceal those flaws. He holds the record for most Test appearances as skipper (68), and only Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh have won more matches than Virat Kohli as captain in the longest format of the sport.

Virat Kohli Can Go With His Head Held High Tweeted Ravi Shastri

As tributes poured in for the former Test skipper after his announcement, former India head coach Ravi Shastri reserved special praise, stating he can hold his head high for what he managed to achieve as Test captain.

“Virat, you can go with your head held high. Few have achieved what you have as captain. Definitely India’s most aggressive and successful. Sad day for me personally as this is the team we built together – @imVkohli,” tweeted Shastri.

The ‘Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri’ era came to an end following India’s lackluster performance in the 2021 T20I World Cup. Two early ‘Super 12’ defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand faltered India’s chances to advance to the last four, also pulling curtains down on Ravi Shastri’s coaching term.

Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli (Twitter/RaviShastriOfc)
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli (Twitter/RaviShastriOfc)

Virat Kohli hasn’t had the best of relationship with BCCI of late but took the opportunity to thank the Indian board in his statement. He also thanked MS Dhoni and Ravi Shastri for being the “engine behind this vehicle”.

“I want to thank the BCCI for giving me the opportunity to lead my country for such a long period of time and more importantly to all the teammates who bought into the vision, I had for the team from day one and never gave up in any situation.”

“To Ravi bhai and the support group who were the engine behind this vehicle that moved us upwards in Test cricket consistently, you all have played a massive role in bringing this vision to life. Lastly, a big thank you to MS Dhoni who believed in me as a captain and found me to be an able individual who could take Indian cricket forward,” Kohli further wrote.

Virat Kohli’s decision to retire comes after India was defeated by South Africa in the Cape Town Test by 7 wickets. The tourists slumped from taking a 1-0 lead to lose the series 2-1.

Last year, the 33-year-old had stepped down as the T20I captain and then he was removed as the ODI leader later as the selectors wanted only one captain for the white-ball format. The 33-year-old led India in 68 games and won 40, becoming the country’s most successful Test captain in the process.

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