'We should respect his decision' - Ravi Shastri opines on Virat Kohli stepping down as India's Test captain
Virat Kohli gave up Test captaincy after a 1-2 series loss to South Africa recently.
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Former India head coach Ravi Shastri who is currently in Oman as the Commissioner of Legends League Cricket has opened up on Virat Kohli’s decision to step down from Test captaincy recently. The 33-year-old stepped down T20I captaincy after the T20 World Cup but was willing to continue his regime in ODIs and Tests as captain. Later on, Kohli was sacked from the 50-over captaincy which in a way and then he took a sudden decision to step down from Test captaincy as well after the series loss to Proteas.
Kohli has been India’s most successful Test captain with 40 wins in 58 Tests and had taken the team from the number seven position to number one in ICC team rankings. He also led India to a first-ever series win in Australia in 2018-19 and almost pulled off a victory in England recently leading 2-1 in the series until Covid-19 popped up. It will be interesting to see who replaces Kohli as captain in Tests with a number of options available at the moment.
“Kohli could have led India for at least 2 years” – Ravi Shastri
Meanwhile, Shastri feels that Virat Kohli should not have given up Test captaincy for at least the next two years with a lot of home series coming up and the latter could have easily risen up to more than 50 wins. He added that Kohli’s fans will be disappointed not to see him reach the landmark and noted that his decision should be respected as well.
“Whether Virat could have continued to lead India in Tests. For sure, he could have 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, going by the rankings. But he would have then made it to 50-60 wins under his captaincy and a lot of people will not be able to digest that fact.
“Two years, he could have carried on but we should respect his decision. In any other country, this kind of record is incredible. You won against Australia, England and lost 1-2 to South Africa but still, there are debates if he should be the captain or not,” Ravi Shastri told India Today.
“Virat Kohli led India in 5-6 years in Tests and out of those, five years India was no. 1. No Indian captain has this kind of record and there are only a handful of captains world over with this kind of record. So when the most successful captain decides to step down as captain it’s an individual’s decision because his record of 40 wins is unprecedented.” he added.
Shastri was the head coach of the Indian side from 2017 to 2021 when the subcontinent side created wonders in the overseas conditions and he has worked closely with Kohli being the captain of the side. Rahul Dravid replaced Shastri in the head coach position after the T20 World Cup 2021 last year.