Coach Ravi Shastri on March 5 lashed out at former cricketers asking Team Indian skipper Virat Kohli to cut down on his aggression on the field, saying they should allow him and his captain to go about their business.
Virat Kohli, in the recently concluded South African series, was spotted losing his cool over the SA players quite a few times. He even allegedly gave AB de Villiers an ‘abusive’ sendoff during the fifth One Day International (ODI) match against South Africa at the St George’s Park Port Elizabeth on February 13.
“My only advice to them is to mind their own business. I will keep it very simple. Whoever is saying that, mind your own business. Let us get on with our job,” IANS quoted Shastri as saying.
“I think he is absolutely fine. If there was a problem, the umpires are there. The match-referee is there to sort it out. What are they there for? He is hardly been called by the match-referee for going over the top in his career. So where is the problem?”
Shastri also compared Kohli to Pakistan’s World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan. Shastri said that young Kohli has a lot of qualities that Imran had when it came to leading a side.
“It’s still early days for Virat. He is still very very young. But he is already there among the very best. He wants to lead by example. He reminds me a lot of Imran. He is still very young but he has got lot of qualities that Imran had when it came to leading a side. Which is great,” Shastri told Anandabazar Patrika.
When asked about the similarities between Khan and Kohli, Shastri said that the latter’s infectious energy levels and the desire to always be on top made him draw the comparison.
“Just the ability to always want to dominate, want to compete, irrespective of whatever conditions you get, believe that you can do it and when you have that kind of quality it spreads among the other players as well. And that was very similar to the way Imran led.”
Virat Kohli is currently on a break and he is not a part of the Indian squad featuring in Nidahas Tournament starting March 6. Besides India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are the other teams participating in the tournament.