The Indian head coach Ravi Shastri lashes out on the critics of Indian wicketkeeper MS Dhoni. He also praised the Indian skipper Virat Kohli ahead of the team’s tour of South Africa next year.
He said,”He is still one of the best around, not only in the Indian team, but the world. Some of the things you see with him are not sold in the market. You will not get it anywhere else.”
“Nothing changes the way we approach any other month. For us all opposition is the same, all oppositions have to be respected and every game is a home match.”
“It turned out that next we are in South Africa. Where South Africa is different is that we haven’t won a series in South Africa. Therein lies a massive opportunity for the team to do something special. The belief is there. We are going there and we will treat South Africa like we treat any other opposition we have played against. There will be respect but we will go there to win.”
“The great thing about Virat is his work ethic, his realisation of what kind of player he can become and what he it takes to become that player. So the emphasis on fitness, the sacrifices that he has to put through. A lot of things he wants to do as a 29-year-old. And it has become part of his lifestyle,” he said.
“What happens is, that when you have a captain in that frame of mind, wanting to achieve things others can only dream of. Then it rubs off on other players. Others want to emulate him. He wants to raise the bar for himself and he doesn’t want any room for excuses.”
Shastri said, ” have been watching this sport for the last 30-40 years. Virat has been a part of this team for a decade now. We know, at this age, he can beat players aged 26. People who talk, forget that they played the game. If they look themselves in the mirror and ask the question, ‘what they were at the age of 36?’. would they have run two runs faster?’ But the time they finish two, this guy will run three. Then he has won only two World Cups and averages only 51. Till today you don’t have a wicket-keeper to replace him in the one day team.”
“He is still one of the best around, not only in the Indian team, but the world. Some of the things you see with him are not sold in the market. You will not get it anywhere else. The fact that he does not play Test cricket, means he should be playing as much cricket as possible till the World Cup in 2019.” he added.