Shastri not ‘yes man’, Kohli clarifies

Ahead of the Australia tour, India skipper Virat Kohli reveals how head coach Shastri helped iron out flaws after the tough England tour of 2014.

India skipper Virat Kohli (right) and head coach Ravi Shastri leave the press conference in Mumbai, prior to their departure to Australia, on Thursday.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

 

Ever since Ravi Shastri joined the Indian team as its head coach last year, there has been a growing perception that he is more like a ‘yes’ man to skipper Virat Kohli.

But on Thursday, ahead of the team’s departure to Australia, Virat rubbished such claims calling it the ‘most bizarre thing he has ever heard’.

“In Indian cricket, I don’t think there is anyone else who has said no to me more than him honestly. He is one guy I can speak to and can get an honest opinion. I have made more changes to my game listening to him than anyone else in the past,” Kohli said while addressing the media at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) headquarters.

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The captain admitted that these are ‘very personal things that happen within in a team environment.’

“Things that conveniently need to be put out there will be put out there. We are not going to put up a banner and say, ‘this is what happens in the Indian team’ As long as our heart is clear and intent is right, we want to keep moving forward,” the 30-year-old captain said.

The captain made it clear that even the other players have also learnt immensely from Shastri since 2014 when he was the Team Director.

“His contribution ever since we started building this team is making people believe that they belong there. We all went through a tough time in 2014 (the England tour) and for me to able to come out of that, and Shikhar (Dhawan) in the 2015 World Cup, he can vouch for that. He knows how to get the best out of the players,” said Kohli.

Virat Kohli interacts with the media in Mumbai on Thursday.   -  PTI

 

“It is mostly about man management at this level and Ravi bhai has done that brilliantly. People are entitled to their opinion. We have to live our lives. We can’t stop doing things which take place organically. Nothing is happening in a fake way,” the captain pointed out.

“Everyone has a different personality and if someone’s personality doesn’t fall into someone else’s comfort zone, that becomes a problem. So, we are not out there wanting to judge anyone. He will finish one day, I will finish one day but cricket is here to stay.”