Off The Field

Expected Virat Kohli to be named captain for Birmingham Test when Rohit Sharma was injured: Ravi Shastri

Written by Rohit Pawar

Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri said that India should keep Virat Kohli as a captaincy option for the World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 final in case of “unforeseen circumstances” before the match against Australia at the Kennington Oval in London.

Kohli remains India’s most successful captain in Tests after he initially went past MS Dhoni’s tally back in 2019 during the West Indies tour. Kohli was also the skipper when India finished as the runners-up of the WTC 2019-21 after losing to Kane Williamson’s New Zealand in the final at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

Kohli took over as India’s full-time skipper after the Melbourne Test against Australia back in 2014 when Dhoni retired from the purest format. He led India for seven years and stepped down after the three-match series against South Africa last year.

“If it’s for a major game like that, then yes. I mean, you want Rohit to be fit as he is the captain of the side. In case of unforeseen circumstances, definitely I will look in that direction,” Shastri was quoted as saying on ESPNcricinfo.

Shastri also said that India could have named Virat as their skipper for the Birmingham Test last year against England instead of Jasprit Bumrah.

“Once Rohit was injured, I thought he would be asked. If I was still there, I would have asked. I’m not sure Rahul (Dravid) would have done the same thing, I haven’t spoken to him. I would have recommended to the board as it’s only fair if he leads because he is part of the team that is leading 2-1 in the series,” Shastri said.

Shastri, who was India’s head coach from 2017 to 2021, said that Kohli is in a much better mental space than last year.

“That’s the feeling I got as opposed to last year when we were discussing ‘does he need a break?’ He seemed to have the burden of the whole world on his shoulders. Now, he is refreshing. You feel that enthusiasm, passion for the game,” he stated.

“The energy and enjoyment has come back, which for me was the best thing to see. You might get runs or you may not, but when you see someone with the passion and drive, it’s good, especially a player of his quality,” Shastri added.

Recently, Kohli also made his comeback as the RCB skipper and has led them to wins in two out of three matches. The 34-year-old is also among the leading run-scorers in the IPL.

About the author

Rohit Pawar

An Independent I.T. Security Expert, Geek, Blogger & Passionate Programmer.