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Virat Kohli will learn from mistakes, says Ravi Shastri

Former India coach Ravi Shastri believes India skipper Virat Kohli, who had a lean run in the Test series against Australia, will come back even stronger.

cricket Updated: Apr 03, 2017 21:38 IST
Sanjjeev Samyal
Virat Kohli will be a better captain after the India vs Australia Test series, according to Ravi Shastri, former Team India coach.
Virat Kohli will be a better captain after the India vs Australia Test series, according to Ravi Shastri, former Team India coach.(AFP)

Former India coach Ravi Shastri has backed skipper Virat Kohli to come out stronger from his struggle with the bat against Australia in the just-concluded series.

Expected to dominate the bowlers, Kohli surprisingly had a below par series, aggregating just 46 runs in five innings with scores of 0, 13, 12, 15 and 6 in the three Tests he played.

It was an acrimonious contest with both teams going hard at each other. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly felt Kohli allowed emotion to get the better of him, affecting his batting.

Read | Why Virat Kohli’s batting declined, explains the legend who adores him

“It can happen. He is young. He will learn on the job. He will learn from mistakes,” said Shastri, who had a great rapport with Kohli during his time as coach.

“Steve Smith, the Australia captain, is young but he admitted to his mistake in the end,” said Shastri, speaking at an event to announce his new role as mentor and advisor for the skill training initiatives of Greycells Education.

PUJARA CONTRACT SUM TOO LITTLE

Shastri criticised the contract amounts paid to India players, especially to Test specialists like Cheteshwar Pujara. The Saurashtra batsman topped the season’s aggregate with 1300-plus runs, but has no takers in the Indian Premier League, thus limiting his earnings compared to his teammates.

Read | Injuries to Virat Kohli & Co not an advantage: Mumbai Indians’ Mahela Jayawardene

The Committee of Administrators has raised payments for Grade A cricketers to Rs 2 crore, but Shastri is not impressed. “It’s nothing, (Rs) 2 crore is peanuts. How much is an Australian (top player) getting, Rs 8 crore?

“The grade contracts of a Test player should be the highest, Pujara should be the highest paid, on par with the top players (in world cricket). Your A grade contracts have to be massive, I know it has been doubled.”

Read | Why are Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni laughing all the way to the bank?

He felt Pujara should be compensated so well for his services that he should not be bothered about the IPL. “Pujara should get a massive amount, (so that) he is not bothered whether he plays IPL or not, he will be happy and say I can play two months of county cricket.”

PLAYERS DON’T RUN ON ROCKET FUEL

Though it has been a great season in terms of results, the gruelling schedule of 13 Tests has taken its toll with many top players reporting injured. “(I am) not surprised, they are human beings, rocket fuel thodi daal sakte hai... (you can’t make them run on rocket fuel).”

With Kohli, KL Rahul, R Ashwin, Murali Vijay, Ravindra Jadeja and Umesh Yadav ruled out for different periods, it is expected to take some gloss off the IPL. Shastri, however, differed.

“It has got bigger every year. I thought it was biggest last year and I won’t be surprised if No 10 isn’t the biggest. The way India has played last season will be a big boost, being the No 1 (Test) team in the world, No 1 and No 2 across all formats will make a big difference.

“A new talent will come that will take all you guys by storm. Suddenly, he might be India material. All these guys, Jadeja, (Hardik) Pandya, did well in the IPL to again come back into focus when they were not doing well. It’s a massive stage.”

Shastri declared T20 as the future. “If you want Test cricket to survive, you need one cash card.”