The combination of Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli has been immensely successful for Team India since they have come together. India has been on a hot winning streak in all the three formats and hasn’t looked back since.
Talking about his relationship with Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri said "[The] equation is great. We are similar personalities. There is an element of trust in our relationship. We are both strong minded, both play to win at all costs. We play to win. We don't go there to do time-pass."
"This is not a team that is out there to fill the numbers. We want to compete. We want to take the game forward. He is pretty similar in his mindset when it comes to that and he is in-your-face kind of character. With Virat Kohli, what you see is what you get," he continued.
Shastri also admitted that yes the two individuals do butt heads when they differ in opinions over some issues, but ultimately, they come to a viable solution.
He said, "It's a dialogue. See, at the end of the day the captain is the boss. He might ask me my suggestions. It doesn't mean he has to agree with my suggestion. Because what I am looking for is for him to have his own mind and take the decision. We are there in the support staff to give suggestion which might help so there is a dialogue. I might believe in a certain combination."
Shastri was the team director when Kohli took over from MS Dhoni in Test cricket in 2015. He has seen Kohli grow from a brash and overconfident cricketer, to a leader of a young side.
"I think he's very good. You can see that maturity coming. He is still young. He is 29. He has seven-eight years still left in his career easily. I mean, he can captain the side for at least six-seven years from here. And you can see him evolving," said the 55-year-old. "There is an element of calmness that has come into his personality which is very good from the team point of view. Because as a captain, you want him to be in your face, you want him to be hard but at the same time he is captaining the Indian cricket team."
Talking about the difference between this Indian team and the previous ones, Shastri said, "There is hunger, there is self-belief. It's not that the other teams didn't have it, but this team has it in abundance and they are not shy. They have got a captain who is not shy. They have got a team director who is not shy and that spreads like a disease within the team."
Shastri continued, "They are hungry and they know for them to be rated they have to perform overseas. And they have already done it. They have already tasted success. Then when you look at World Cups, they have always competed, they have lost to the winners in two semi-finals, they have won the Asia Cup. They know they are there and what's good is that the nucleus of the players is pretty much the same from what it was in 2014 and the same bunch, I see them being together for another four to five years. That makes the biggest difference. They can achieve and go places in the next three or four years."