Former head coach Ravi Shastri hinted at the possibility of Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, opting to step down from ODI captaincy as well in order to focus on Test cricket, the format that he loves the most.
Kohli relinquished his T20I captaincy in September, stating that the ongoing T20 World Cup would be his last assignment. Now that India is out of the tournament, the BCCI announced the appointment of Rohit Sharma as the official T20I captain and his first assignment will be the series against New Zealand.
Kohli’s workload is getting heavier due to a lack of form and he might soon step down as the ODI captain as well, with an intention of focusing on the longest format of the game.
“In red-ball cricket, India has been the No1 team in the world for the last 5 years under Virat Kohli. So unless he wants to give up or if he is mentally fatigued and says he wants to focus on his batting – which can happen in the near future, don’t think it will happen immediately – it can happen.”
“The same might happen with the ODI. He might say he wants to focus just on Test captaincy. It is his mind and body that will make that decision. He won’t be the first, there are many players in the past who have had very successful tenures and captains and then given it up to focus on batting,” Shastri said.
“Take criticism along the way and move on” – Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri went on to mention how he dealt with the constant scrutiny from the media and the fans, every time the team fails to win a match. The most recent example is Mohammad Shami, who was abused online after his performance against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup.
“You just got to take it on the chin. We won so much, people weren’t used to us losing. To take the bullet is the job of the coach. You overcome all those hurdles, you don’t let it pull you down. You have to ensure the team gives their best. Take criticism along the way and move on,” Shastri added.
Shastri’s contract with the Indian team has run out and Rahul Dravid has been appointed as the successor. Dravid’s first test will be up T20I series against New Zealand starting on November 17.