Team India’s newly appointed head coach Ravi Shastri has praised Indian skipper Virat Kohli and called him a great role model for the youngsters. Shastri, who stepped into the role following Anil Kumble's resignation also said he will chat with the former head coach when they meet.
During the hunt for team India head coach, Shastri was the front-runner as he shared a good rapport with the Indian captain Kohli and was the director of the team from 2014 to 2016. After a successful home season under Kohli’s captaincy, the blue brigade is eagerly waiting to face Sri Lanka on foreign soil. Before the series, Shastri praised the 28-year-old player for leading the team well.
“He is a top bloke and a tough character. He is a great role model for the youngsters,” Shastri told Ahmedabad Mirror in an interview.
The 55-year-old showed his confidence in the current Indian cricket team and believed they can achieve greater milestones.
“I will have a meeting with them in Sri Lanka but I have no doubt that it is a brilliant team that has the potential to do what no other Indian team has ever done in the past,” Shastri said.
Earlier, Kumble resigned from the post of the Indian coach stating his relationship with Indian skipper Kohli had become 'untenable'. After that, the CAC, comprising of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, was burdened with the responsibility of searching for a new head coach for Team India. Shastri not only beat the other applicants but also got the job till the 2019 World Cup. He cleared that he is not against to speaking to Kumble about the Indian team.
“When I meet him (Kumble) I will have a chat. Yes, when I bump into him, I will have a discussion.”
During his tenure (2014-2016) that started during the middle of the England tour, Shastri had played a significant role in the Test series wins against Sri Lanka (away) and South Africa (home), and India’s run to the 2015 World T20 semi-final. He clarified the coach’s role in getting the team's players to give their best.
“The coach’s role comes in creating an environment where the boys can deliver their best. You have to make them comfortable with the environment.”
India is aiming for the 2019 World Cup and Shastri will have to take a call on veterans like MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh. He said it will not be a difficult call. “We have to see the current form and fitness. Whoever is getting runs and is fit, will play,” he said.