'25 years ago, Tendulkar went to play...': Shastri's 'be smart and sacrifice' advice for Kohli ahead of Australia Tests
Ravi Shastri cited the example of batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who had done exactly the same 25 years ago.
Team India's preparation for the upcoming ODI World Cup started on a positive note. The unit secured a resounding 3-0 win over Sri Lanka at home and are now engaged in their second assignment, which is a limited-over series against New Zealand. Apart from the World Cup, Team India are also in contention for the World Test Championship and India's chances of making it to the final depends on the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which is scheduled to be played in February.
Discussing the same during the 1st ODI between India and New Zealand in Hyderabad, former India coach and cricketer Ravi Shastri made an interesting point regarding Virat Kohli. Shastri nodded the idea of Kohli opting out the final ODI and returning to first-class cricket in order to prepare for the crucial Test series against Australia. Shastri's remarks came in response to a question by fellow commentator Harsha Bhogle.
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“I've always believed you play more first-class cricket, especially when you are going to play a lot in India. Just feel top players don't play enough first-class cricket. There's a lot of cricket around, you might not want to take the risk. But at times you've got to be smart and sacrifice certain games looking at the bigger picture. And the big picture is Australia,” said Shastri on-air.
He also cited the example of batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who had done exactly the same 25 years ago. “25 years ago Sachin Tendulkar went to play in CCI against a Australian team and got a double hundred. Two months later in 1998 he had above 1000 runs against Australia in all formats. He got a terrific double hundred and Australia knew that they didn't get that man early the writing was on the wall,” Shastri said.
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The Border Gavaskar Trophy starts from February 9 in Nagpur. Meanwhile, if Kohli does opt out of the final ODI to get some red-ball practice ahead of the mega series, Kohli's domestic team Delhi are scheduled to play a Ranji Trophy match against Hyderabad from January 24.