Former Indian coach Ravi Shastri believes that the task of captaining Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Indian team could prove to be a blessing in disguise for Virat Kohli as the star-batter play in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 and free could international cricket.
Having worked extensively with Kohli during his tenure as Team India head coach, Shastri suggested that stepping down from the captaincy was a wise decision. however, he believes Kohli should have remained India’s Test captain.
Kohli decided to give up the RCB captain midway through the second leg of the 2021 IPL in the UAE. The RCB star also quit as India’s T20I captain last year before being sacked as ODI captain. Kohli also resigned as India’s Test captain in an unforeseen call earlier this year after the Asian giants suffered a 2-1 defeat in a 3-Test series in South Africa.
“I think [giving up captaincy] could be a blessing in disguise, to be honest. The pressure of captaincy is off his shoulders, the expectations that come with being a captain are gone. He can go out, express himself, play freely and I think he’ll try to do just that,” Shastri was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“I think the most important thing is not to worry about his own performances because he has done enough in world cricket for people to know where he is. It’s about him wanting to be out there enjoying himself. I think that’s the key. It’s the mind at all about saying to himself, “I want to go there, express myself and enjoy myself,” he added.
Earlier, Shastri said the IPL 2022 was an opportunity for many players to spot themselves as the future captain of the Indian cricket team. Shastri, however, praised Indian skipper Rohit Sharma, saying he is doing a remarkably good job but India will look into who will captain the team going forward.
“Virat has already quit his job. Rohit is an outstanding captain in white ball cricket. But I think this IPL India will deal with who will lead the team (in the future) – there’s Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul,” Shastri said Tuesday during a news conference hosted by Star Sports, the official broadcaster of IPL 2022.