Nobody has said more ‘no’ to me than Ravi Shastri: Virat Kohli
Kohli backed Shastri completely and praised him for his man management skills.
Updated - Nov 16, 2018 1:24 pm
For India’s head coach Ravi Shastri, the team’s overseas tours have not been rewarding. India have been on two big overseas tours this year – of South Africa and England – and on both occasions, they lost and Shastri came under serious questioning. The 56-year-old was accused of not succeeding to make the team walk the talk after they were expected to triumph on both the tours. India now embark on yet another tough overseas tour – Down Under – and Shastri will be under the scanner again.
However, ahead of the departure for Australia where India will be playing three T20Is, four Tests and three ODIs in a two-month long tour, skipper Virat Kohli made an effort to clear the rumour about Shastri who is seen more as a ‘Yes-man’ to the ace batsman’s remarks. The captain touched upon, among other issues, the significance of the head coach in the Indian team.
The Indian captain praised the coach and was particularly thankful to the former all-rounder for having helped him to overcome the difficulties he faced as a batsman following his dismal tour of England in 2014 when he managed just 134 runs in 10 innings. He said Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan also benefited similarly from Shastri’s words after he had a successful stint in the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Shastri brings the best out of players
“The contribution that he has brought to the table ever since we started building this team, is making people believe that they belong to the team. And I can vouch for it because, at a time when we all went through a really difficult time in England in 2014 for me to be able to come out of that shell and lot of other players like Shikhar Dhawan in the 2015 World Cup, he can vouch for that as well.
“To get the best out of players I think he has been the most important factor as far as that is concerned,” Kohli said, adding that the coach has also done a great job in man management. Cleaning up Shastri’s image of a ‘yes-man’, the 30-year-old also said that the latter has been the person who has said him more ‘no’ than anybody else in Indian cricket.
“About saying yes all the time, that is the most bizarre I have heard for I haven’t heard anyone saying no to me more than anyone else in the Indian cricket. I made more changes to my game listening to him than anyone in the past.”
Shastri became the coach of the Indian team after his predecessor Anil Kumble stepped down and it was reported that he was not having a good understanding with the captain. Shastri’s stint got off to a great start as India remained undefeated at home and also thrashed Sri Lanka in their den. However, the two big Test series loss overseas hurt the Indian coach’s position.