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ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Ravi Shastri reveals the exact moment of change for Virat Kohli

Speaking about the exact moment when Virat Kohli transcended the boundary between a good cricketer and a great cricketer, Shastri recalled the Indian captain’s mammoth efforts in the Test series in Australia in December 2014.

cricket Updated: May 15, 2019 14:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
ICC Cricket World Cup,Ravi Shastri,Virat Kohli
File photo of Virat Kohli talking to then India Director of Cricket Ravi Shastri who reacts during an India Training Session at Adelaide Oval on December 8, 2014 in Adelaide, Australia. Kohli was made captain after MS Dhoni retired from Test cricket. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)(Getty Images)

Team India coach Ravi Shastri is one person who has witnessed the coming of age of Virat Kohli the batsman and cricketer from the closest quarters. It is no secret that Shastri and Kohli share a great equation and that rubs off on the rest of the unit.

Similar in many ways when it comes to their approach towards the game, the Kohli-Shastri bond has strengthened over the years and it faces its biggest test at the ICC World Cup, which begins from May 30. (Full ICC World Cup coverage)

Speaking about the exact moment when Kohli transcended the boundary between a good cricketer and a great cricketer, Shastri recalled the Indian captain’s mammoth efforts in the Test series in Australia in December 2014.

“Australia, four seasons ago. When he (Virat) got those four hundreds. You could see a sudden desire in him to strive for absolute perfection. Without cutting any corners. The idea was simple, there was going to be no room for excuses, nothing at all,” Shastri said in an interview to Times of India.

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“You could see him telling himself out there, “I want to be the best in the world. But for me to be the best in the world across all formats, I have to do this, no compromise. If it means I have to be the fittest, if I have to sacrifice certain things, I’ll do it. That’s how he set himself on the path. And over the course of time, I think that is exactly what rubbed off on the rest of the team,” the Indian coach added.

Talking about putting faith in bowlers to win Test matches, Shastri said that the focus on being fit rubbed on to the bowling unit and that is how their performance also improved.

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“We talked about transition. Of Virat’s journey and of this team. This is part of that same journey. It rubbed off on the other players and that included the pacers as well. Fitness alone remained the focus at all times. If you look back three years ago, that remained the calling card. The bowlers got fitter. Then they realised the value of bowling as a unit,” Shastri said.

First Published: May 15, 2019 13:52 IST