Team India under the leadership of Virat Kohli is doing wonders of late, be it in Test cricket or limited-overs format. Such is the domination of ‘Men in Blue’ that they have recently registered their ninth consecutive Tests series victory and eighth consecutive ODI series victory. And now India’s chief coach Ravi Shastri has stated that the team is excited for their forthcoming South Africa challenge and is keen to prove themselves in overseas conditions.
In a recent interview with CNN-News 18, Shastri opened up about his chemistry with skipper Virat Kohli and how they both play to win at all costs.
“Equation is great. We are similar personalities like you mentioned. There is an element of trust in our relationship. We are both strong-minded and 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 up 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,” Shastri quoted while speaking to CNN-News 18.
When asked how to sort out differences in the dressing room, the head coach was quick to retort that it is more of an exchange of ideas between the two.
“See at that end of the day the captain is the boss. He might ask me for 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 as well 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,” said Ravi.
Over the years it has been observed that the success of a team depends on how well the opening combination fares in foreign conditions. Revealing that the duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay will shoulder the responsibility of opening the batting, Shastri maintained that what they bring in is a lot of experience and stability.
Talking about India’s opening combination in South Africa, Shastri revealed that KL Rahul may have to wait for his chance as Dhawan and Vijay bring experience to the table.
“You look at experience, you look at variety so that’s what Shikhar brings in, a left hand, a right-hand combination so he is a must. He has got lots of runs. Vijay the most experienced and a very good record overseas and he brings solidity,” elaborated Shastri.
"Young Rahul is immensely talented and he will get his opportunity at some stage. He might have to wait for a while but he will get his opportunity think he was the most improved player in the last 18 months. it’s just unfortunate that he didn’t convert those 60s into 150s but he will learn,” he concluded.
India Test squad for South Africa series:
Virat Kohli(c), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Parthiv Patel, Jasprit Bumrah