Hats off to Virat Kohli for standing up for Mohammed Shami: Ravi Shastri

Hats off to Virat Kohli for standing up for Mohammed Shami: Ravi Shastri

Shastri also lauded Shami for being a vital cog of India’s bowling attack across formats.

Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri
Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri, (Photo Source: BCCI)

Former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri lauded Virat Kohli for shielding Mohammed Shami from the criticism that the fast bowler faced after India’s 10-wicket defeat to Pakistan in Dubai on October 24. Shami turned out to be India’s most expensive bowler against Babar Azam and Co. as he conceded 43 runs in 3.5 overs without getting a wicket.

Later, the speedster faced flak and abuses on social media platforms after his lacklustre bowling performance. Thereafter, the 33-year-old Virat condemned the act from the netizens and backed Shami to the best extent he could. Shastri, whose tenure ended after India’s exit from the T20 World Cup, lauded the pacer for being a vital cog of India’s bowling attack across formats.

Cricket is a team sport and it happens, says Ravi Shastri

“I heard about it later and that was ridiculous. Mohammed Shami, for me, has been a champion. He has been an integral part of the team over the last five years. If we have won anything overseas or in India, Shami, along with Jasprit (Bumrah), Umesh (Yadav) and Ishant (Sharma), has been absolutely fabulous,” Shastri was quoted as saying in NDTV.

“And to single one guy out for a game, for example if someone says that Pakistan lost the semi-final because someone dropped a catch, it’s ridiculous. Cricket is a team sport and it happens,” he stated.

Shastri, who served as India’s head coach for four years, was clear cut in saying that finger-pointing after a poor performance doesn’t build the apt atmosphere in the team.

“One message we had in our team, right from the beginning – you win as one and you go down as all. There’s never been finger-pointing in my dressing room. Virat was brilliant in the press-conference where he stood up for Shami. Hats off to him,” Shastri added.

Pakistan batter Mohammad Rizwan also took a stand for Shami, saying that the game of cricket should bring in unity among fans and not divide them. Rizwan was Pakistan’s top-scorer in the game with 79 runs, although he didn’t get the Player of the Match award. His unbeaten 152-run stand with skipper Babar helped Pakistan track down the target with 13 balls to spare.