Former Indian Head coach Ravi Shastri recently sat down with former Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar for an entertaining interview which was posted on the fast bowler’s YouTube channel on Wednesday. The duo talked about various issues on Indian and World cricket from the dying art of test cricket to going down memory lane by discussing cricket in the 80s and 90s. Shastri and Akhtar also spoke about India’s two biggest stars currently, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
Ravi Shastri revealed his thoughts after Kohli stepped down from captaincy. Shastri said the challenge for Kohli is now to maintain the same energy when he is playing as a player and not as the captain of Team India. The former Indian skipper, who previously stepped down from the T20s and got sacked from ODIs, left the test leadership after losing the series in South Africa.
Shastri claimed that he was surprised by Virat’s decision but he respects a cricketer’s judgment. He further called Virat a “beast” and a “terrier” on the field.
“Virat is like a beast on the field. He is a terrier. Once he enters the ground, he wants to compete and is not worried about anybody. He is in-your-face and passionate. Off the field, he is totally opposite,” Shastri told Shoaib Akhtar on the former Pakistan pacer’s YouTube channel.
“Absolutely calm, chilled… there is no issue with him. He is 33. He has been contributing as a captain. The challenge comes when you do not captain after a span of time.”
“Then to still have the energy to play as a player, get runs, and help India win. If he does that, he would have completed a full circle,” he added.
Ravi Shastri compares Rohit’s style with MS Dhoni
Speaking about India’s new white ball skipper Rohit Sharma, Shastri had only positive things to say. He compared Rohit’s style with MS Dhoni who also used to stay cool and calm. Shastri also pointed out how Rohit has evolved his game in the last few years.
“Now, Rohit is laid back. It was sometimes that you got the feeling that the game came too easy to him, till he realized that ‘God has given me this gift and now let me make the most of it’ and when in full flow, there are few batters who play like him.”
Rohit Sharma is set to return for the white ball series against West Indies and will lead India. The series will commence on 6 February at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
• Ravi Shastri calls Virat a beast and terrier on the field.
• Shastri recently sat down with Shoaib Akhtar for a candid interview.