'He was not there for one series': Salman Butt slams Panesar for saying 'Team India more of Shastri's team than Kohli'
One of the main reasons behind Team India's success in the recent past has been, and without a shred of a doubt, the partnership and the relationship between skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri. The player-coach duo has worked together relentlessly to pull the team to the top along with invaluable contributions from the rest of the team. The two have always appeared to be in sync over the years and both have created a winning mentality in the team
But for former England, spinner Monty Panesar, in an interview with India Today, said it is Shastri who has had more influence on Team India than skipper Kohli and said that Team India is more of Shastri than of Kohli.
He said: "If one analyses the performance of India in the past few months, you can see that it is more of Ravi Shastri’s team than Virat Kohli’s. At least that’s what I feel."
This, however, did not go down too well with former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt who said he did not understand the "context and logic" of Panesar's statements. While speaking on his YouTube channel, Butt said:
"See, I don't understand why somebody would need to say this. Virat has scored so many runs, was it possible to get such a good winning ratio without it? Not at all. He was not there for one series, we can consider it as a failure. One or two failed series are normal but you still can't take away his contribution. Similarly, a coach's positive influence ensures that the team is with him," Salman Butt said in a video on his YouTube channel.
Butt also remarked that each and every member is valuable to the team and that the fact they all speak well of each other shows team bonding.
He further stated: "They both [Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli] didn't say anything and are happy to work together... I believe both are equally valuable. In fact, every member is valuable. And when they are all happily working together as a team, why would you say that it's one's team more than the other? I don't know what context and logic he has used," he added.
India pulled off a historic 2-1 series win during the 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy against Australia despite losing the first Test. India was without Kohli after the first Test in Adelaide and was led to victory under Ajinkya Rahane's leadership.
Team India's next assignment is their tour to England where they will play New Zealand in the World Test Championship (WTC) final followed by a five-math Test series against he host.