I don't wash dirty linen in public: Ravi Shastri on Kohli's form
Virat Kohli’s unexpected decision to step down as India’s Test captain following a 1-2 defeat to South Africa in the red-ball series shocked fans and many experts.
Several former cricketers supported Kohli’s decision but some felt that he perhaps could have continued in the role for some more time.
The 33-year-old right-hander received support from former head coach Ravi Shastri, who stated that it is Kohli’s “choice”. Shastri also explained that “a lot of big players have left captaincy” in the past.
“It’s his choice. You have to respect his decision. There is a time for everything. A lot of big players in the past have left captaincy when they felt they wanted to focus on their batting or on their cricket,” Shastri told PTI. “Whether it’s [Sachin] Tendulkar, [Sunil] Gavaskar or [MS] Dhoni. And, it’s Virat Kohli now,” he added.
Shastri, who stepped down as India’s head coach after the T20 World Cup last year, refrained from making any about Kohli’s body language in the field after quitting captaincy.
“As I said, I’ve not followed a single ball in the series. But I don’t think there will be too much change in Virat Kohli,” Shastri said.
“I took a break after seven years in the game, been part of the team, one thing is very clear, I do not wash dirty linen in public,” Shastri said.
Kohli has also been criticised for not winning any ICC trophy as skipper. Shastri explained that many big players in the past also haven’t won a world cup and he also cited examples.
“Many big players have not won a World Cup. That’s alright. [Sourav] Ganguly, [Rahul] Dravid, [Anil] Kumble also have not won. So can we label them as bad players?” Shastri said,
“You can’t generalise. You go and play. How many world cup winning captains do we have? Sachin Tendulkar had to play six world cups before winning it,” Shastri said.
“At the end of the day, you are judged by how you play, are you an ambassador of the game? Do you play the game with integrity, and do you play for a long period of time? That’s how you judge players at the end of it all,” Shastri said.
Kohli stepped down from India’s T20I captaincy after the T20 World Cup and was soon removed as ODI skipper. The BCCI announced Rohit Sharma as India’s full-time white-ball captain in December last year.
On contradictory versions of Kohli and BCCI over the issue of captaincy, Shastri said: “Communication is an important thing. I don’t know what transpired in between them. I wasn’t part of their conversation…I can’t comment unless I speak to both the parties. It’s better to keep your mouth shut if you have less information, speak when you get proper information.”
Kohli, while addressing the media before the team’s departure for the Test series in South Africa, said that he was informed by the selectors that he won’t be the ODI captain anymore just one and a half hours before the Test squad for the South Africa series was announced and that there was no prior communication on the same from the BCCI.
This statement of Kohli contradicts the statements made by BCCI president Ganguly over the past few days. Ganguly had mentioned that he had personally spoken to Kohli about the decision.
(With inputs from Agencies)