Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri duo will help India dominate cricket: Dav Whatmore

Dav Whatmore, who led Sri Lanka to the 1996 World Cup triumph, believes that a good working relationship between Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri will help the Indian cricket team dominate the game for some years

india vs new zealand 2017 Updated: Nov 08, 2017 10:58 IST
Sandip Sikdar
Sandip Sikdar
Hindustan Times, Thiruvanathapuram
Virat Kohli,Ravi Shastri,Dav Whatmore
Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team have remained unbeaten in a series at home across formats since 2015 and Dav Whatmore, the former coach of the Sri Lankan cricket team, believes that Kohli’s partnership with Ravi Shastri will help them sustain the dominance.(PTI)

Dav Whatmore has done it all. He has been at the top as a coach and has also seen the bottom of the pit. Hence, with his experience, the Australian feels that regardless of Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) experiments with their team, India will continue their domination over the islanders in the upcoming tour.

The Sri Lankan team will visit India in November-December to play three Tests, ODIs and T20s each and Whatmore believes that the Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri juggernaut will continue to crush their opponents, as proved in the past few months.

“It is going to be very difficult for Sri Lanka. They couldn’t win at home, how do you think they’re going to win in India? India’s domination will continue. They are a very good team having all-round abilities. They bat well and deep, they’ve got good spinners and seamers, and also a very positive leader,” the Australian told Hindustan Times in a free-wheeling chat.

The current Kerala Ranji Trophy coach, who was once an aspirant for the India coach’s job, also lauded the Kohli-Shastri partnership, saying that it is of utmost importance that the captain and coach get along well.

“It is very important, and everybody will agree, that the captain and coach have a good working relationship. There’s a saying that players make the coach, there’s no question about that. The coach stays in the background and it is about the players and that is exactly what Ravi Shastri is all about,” said Whatmore, who played seven Tests and one ODI for Australia.

Amidst rising criticism, Whatmore also backed MS Dhoni following his slow knock in the second T20 against New Zealand at Rajkot which India lost. “I did not see the (Rajkot) game but I read (Ajit) Agarkar, what he was thinking. I didn’t read what VVS Laxman said. What they’re saying is basically reporting on the game. If Dhoni tried to hit from ball one, he would have got out. This guy has won you matches!” said Whatmore.

“It is a bit premature but if you’re looking at the future to infuse and slowly bring in young players, that makes perfect sense. They were not happy with that particular innings but that’s just one game. This guy has played a lot of good ones. No one likes to lose but it happens.”

Very few understand the Sri Lankan set-up better than Whatmore, who also famously led them to the 1996 World Cup title. But he couldn’t comprehend the logic behind the selectors’ decision to leave out Kusal Mendis, among others, for the India tour.

“I have been a bit removed from all this but I am sure the people who did these things must have some reason for it. Mendis is a good player and has won games for them, he will be missed,” said the 63-year-old, who has also coached Pakistan, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

“Asela Gunaratne and Kusal Perera were left out because they haven’t played anything, have they? They had the opportunity to, I guess, before the Tests, so that is understandable. It is good that Angelo Mathews is back, he is an asset, but Mendis..... he is a decent player.”

First Published: Nov 08, 2017 09:48 IST