‘Not a guy to mess around’: Ravi Shastri names the ‘boss’ of Indian cricket
There is often a debate on who runs the show when two high-profile persons take the captain and coach’s position in a cricket team. And when that cricket team is India and the captain and coaches are Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri, there is bound to be that extra bit of spice to that question. But in reality, there is no doubt over who calls the shots in the Indian cricket team, according to head coach Ravi Shastri.
Terming Indian skipper Virat Kohli the ‘boss’, head coach Shastri said he leads from the front in each and every aspect of the game, which sets the tone for the rest of the players in the team.
“The captain is the boss, I always believe that,” Shastri said on the Sky Sports Podcast, responding to a question from Nasser Hussain. “The job of the coaching staff is to prepare the guys in the best possible way to get out there and play positive, brave, fearless cricket.
Throwing light on his job, Shastri said he works more like a man-manager, who is there to take the burden off the captain’s shoulders.
“The captain leads from the front. Yes, we are there to take off the burden -- he’s not going to each player and talking to them, that’s my job; if you’ve got to pull someone up -- but you leave him to do his job in the middle.
“The captain sets the tone and is encouraged to set the tone. In the middle, he controls the show. No coach in the world can do that,” he added.
Shastri also credited Kohli for the improvement which the team has made in fielding and fitness.
“When you talk about fitness, the leadership comes from the top and it came from Virat,” he said. “He is not a guy to mess around. He woke up one morning and said ‘if I want to play this game, I want to be the fittest player in the world and compete against the best in all conditions’ and he let his body go through one hell of a lot.”
According to the head coach, when a player like Kohli sets such high standards, it rubs off on others.
“It was not just the training but the sacrifices he made with his diet, the way he looked at life. I could see that change happening all the time ... When he sets those standards, it rubs off on others,” he added.
Currently, the Indian team is on a forced break due to the lockdown imposed in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
(With IANS inputs)