Shastri feels Kohli has taken a “smart decision” by stepping down from captaincy
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri believes Kohli has taken a “smart decision” by giving up captaincy from all formats of cricket while Shastri also feels the Kohli could have continued as the captaincy in the test format.
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri believes Virat Kohli has taken a “smart decision” by giving up captaincy from all formats of cricket, paving the way to express himself better in the upcoming India Premier League (IPL).
Shastri who has enough knowledge of Virat Kohli and has also examined Kohli from close quarters during his period as India head coach, however, also feels the 33-year old star batter could have continued as the captaincy in the test format.
“I think this (giving up captaincy) could be a blessing in disguise, to be honest. The pressures of captaincy off his shoulders, the expectations that come with being captain no longer there, he can go out, express himself, play freely, and I think he’ll look to do just that,”Shastri said.
“I think he has taken a smart decision of relinquishing captaincy. I would have still preferred if he stayed on as India’s red-ball captain but that’s his personal choice,”Shastri was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.com.
Kohli left down many in shock when he resigned as the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain after 2021 IPL.
Later, Kohli quit the test captaincy following India’s 1-2 series loss against South Africa. He had earlier given up the T20 captaincy after the T20 World Cup last year in UAE, a decision which led the BCCI to remove him as ODI captaincy also.
“I think the most important thing is not to worry about his performances, because he’s done enough in world cricket for people to know where he stands.
“It’s about him wanting to enjoy himself out there. I think that is the key. It’s mind over matter, it’s a case of telling yourself, ‘I want to go there, express myself, and enjoy myself.” The former all-rounder said captaining the Indian cricket team has its challenges.
“It (captaincy) certainly does (have a shelf life). It’s not easy to be captain of a team in all three formats of the game, more so in India because it is the most demanding job in the world.
“No other team captain faces the kind of pressure than the Indian team captain faces and that is simply because of the expectations of the billion people. Expectations are huge.
“And especially as a captain if you set standards like Virat Kohli has, people expect you to win every game but that’s never going to happen. Even the greatest of the team will have an off-season, will have a period where nothing fires, and, the pressure will build,”Shastri said.
Asked if Kohli can be used as an opener by RCB this year, Shastri said:
“That depends on the balance of the team. I don’t know what their middle-order is. Just in case they have got a very strong middle-order, there is no harm in Virat opening.”