Ishant's blunt message to Kohli: ‘What’s the point of you being senior if…' | Crickit

'Have to score or juniors will ask, what's the point of you being senior': Ishant's straightforward message to Kohli

Jul 14, 2023 03:10 PM IST

Ishant Sharma had a rather blunt message for Virat Kohli as the star batter remained unbeaten at the end of Day 2 in the West Indies Test.

The 2023-25 World Test Championship cycle might mark a move for India, away from the dominant team of the late 2010s and towards a new-look unit. The success of debutant Yashasvi Jaiswal in his first match of the tour to West Indies is an indication of that, but he has been supported by two of the more experienced cricketers in world cricket, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

Ishant Sharma had a message for Virat Kohli as the latter eyes a strong outing against West Indies(Twitter)
Ishant Sharma had a message for Virat Kohli as the latter eyes a strong outing against West Indies(Twitter)

India pace bowler Ishant Sharma was asked about the role that Kohli could play in helping these young stars in the Indian team develop, with the likes of Jaiswal and Shubman Gill trying to knock down spots in all formats of the game.

Also read: Watch: Yashasvi Jaiswal runs to Rohit Sharma after record century, Virat Kohli reacts from dressing room

Beyond just development, however, Ishant believed Kohli could lead by example and set the standard for how the newcomers and youngsters in the team should hold themselves. “The most important thing is that if you are a senior player, you will first have to score your own runs or else the juniors will also ask what is the point of you being a senior,” said Ishant, who is making his commentary debut on the international stage for JioCinema.

Ishant also believed that this was definitely something Kohli would take on board and do well with. “However, I know that Virat Kohli will definitely score runs because of the mental frame he is in currently and the way he is batting.”

Kohli has been criticized for his lack of Test runs in recent years, but solid performances in recent months and a big century against Australia in Nagpur have demonstrated that he still has the touch. The form is there, but Kohli will want to use this West Indies tour to start providing numbers that back it up.

Ishant, who had a career resurgence under the captaincy of Kohli, also argued that leading young Indian batters was something Kohli already provided the platform for, mentioning in particular Rishabh Pant.

“He knows how to groom youngsters because he has captained the Indian team for so many runs. When young boys came into our team, like Rishabh Pant or someone else, he never told them how to play in a particular situation. He always said that they should stick to their technique and should play the way they feel,” said Ishant, who just like Pant and Kohli represented Delhi domestically.

“If your captain backs you, it becomes a very important thing as a player,” concluded the pacer. Although Rohit now captains the national teams, he also has a track record of being in leadership positions as players under him blossomed with the Mumbai Indians. The national team fans will be hoping he can have the same impact on Jaiswal and Gill, as well as the likes of Tilak Varma, who has been called up for the T20s in the Caribbean and Florida on this tour.

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