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Ravi Shastri says sharing similar mindset with Virat Kohli key to India’s success

Ravi Shastri feels his partnership with Virat Kohli can have a huge impact on Indian cricket going forward.

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Sep 02, 2017 13:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Ravi Shastri,Virat Kohli,Indian Cricket Team
Ravi Shastri, Indian cricket team’s head coach, shares a good rapport with Virat Kohli. (AFP)

Ravi Shastri, Indian cricket team’s head coach, believes sharing a similar mindset with captain Virat Kohli, and the camaraderie between the players and the support staff is one of the biggest reasons behind the team’s success in recent times.

Shastri, who took over as the head coach after Anil Kumble’s controversial exit, has overseen the team’s successful outing in the three-Test series in Sri Lanka, wherein India registered their first-ever overseas series whitewash.

(Read | MS Dhoni not even ‘half finished’, has plenty to offer, says Ravi Shastri)

The Indian juggernaut has proven unstoppable as far as the struggling hosts are concerned. They have hammered them in all four ODIs of the ongoing five-match series.

On his part, Shastri believes that sharing a similar mindset with the captain has helped his two-year tenure as India’s head coach get off to a successful start.

(Read | No two to tango for Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma in 4th ODI win vs Sri Lanka)

Shastri told, “It makes communication so much easier because when the mindset is similar and you are on the same page, then that reflects in the way that you will see the other players reacting.”

“When you see this Indian cricket team on the field, you feel like watching them play. There is energy; there is camaraderie, an element of sharing, an element of happiness in anyone’s success. There is great disappointment if they don’t play to their potential, which is very important. It’s a great game. It will give you a lot of happiness and at the same time bring you down to earth. That’s the beauty of sport. But, then how you get up as a team and not as an individual, that is what will define this Indian cricket team and that is what our endeavour is — to have a great relationship,” said Shastri, underlining the importance of having a strong bond between teammates.

(Read | India vs Sri Lanka: Virat Kohli & Co eye series clean sweep)

Speaking further on the importance of having a strong bond, Shastri said, “As far as the team is concerned, the trust factor that exists in the dressing room, the camaraderie between the players and the support staff, like Virat has mentioned, there is no senior or junior in the team because everyone’s a team player and everyone has to contribute.”

“We’ve seen that in our team. The most experienced player like the former captain MS Dhoni, he is a wonderful team man. Any youngster can approach him at any stage, in the same capacity any youngster can approach the Captain or me as the Head Coach or anyone in the support staff. That kind of camaraderie is there. If you don’t have that kind of sharing, you will not have that kind of trust. That is paramount and like we said the dressing room for us is the place. What happens in the dressing room and what’s discussed there will always stay there,” he added.

(Read | India vs Sri Lanka: Manish Pandey says players need time to adjust to new roles)

Shastri reiterated that while Kohli is the ‘boss of the team’, the support staff plays a very crucial role as well. “The captain will always be the boss of the team. I have under me a fantastic support staff who’ve been with me right from day one. And there is a certain element of bonding and trust when it comes to the players dealing with the support staff and our job is making them feel relaxed and make them feel that they are in a great mental space,” he said.

The former cricketer sounded bullish when asked about India’s chances of winning overseas. Virat Kohli’s team is set to tour South Africa, England and Australia starting early next year and such assignments are being seen as the toughest test of the incumbent world No. 1 Test side.

(Read | Lasith Malinga blames ‘lost generation’, urges Sri Lanka to back failing team)

Shastri said, “If you see world cricket today, there is not a single team that travels well, especially when it comes to Test matches. If you see one team that has made strides in the last couple of years, it is India. We still go on raving and ranting about the overseas tours, I feel it as a challenge because no team travels well and this team has the opportunity to be that one team that can travel well. The onus is on us, when you put in the hard yards, it might happen and might not happen. But the opportunity is there.”

“If you look at India in the last two years they’ve beaten England in England in an overseas ODI series, after 24 years. They’ve beaten Australia in a T20 series 3-0, we’ve beaten Sri Lanka back-to-back in two overseas tours here,” he added.

First Published: Sep 02, 2017 13:34 IST