Former Indian cricket coach Ravi Shastri appears to believe Virat Kohli took a “smart decision” by stepping down as captain
of all forms of cricket, allowing him to focus on the upcoming Indian Premier League.
Shastri, who saw Kohli’s leadership personally during his time as India coach,
believes that the 33-year-old star batsman should have been retained as captain in Test cricket.
“To be honest, I think this (giving up captaincy) could be a blessing in disguise.
The challenges of captaincy off his shoulders, the expectations which come with it by being captain no longer here now,
he can go out, express himself, play freely, and I believe he’ll look to do just that,” said Shastri.
“I believe he has successfully taken a sensible decision of voluntarily giving up captaincy.
I would’ve still preferred if he decided to stay on as India’s red-ball captain but also that is his personal choice,” Shastri was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.com.
Kohli left almost everyone in shock when he decided to step down as Royal Challengers Bangalore captain just after 2021 IPL.
Following India’s 1-2 series loss to South Africa, Kohli stepped down as Test captain.
After last year’s World Cup, he stepped down as T20 captain, prompting the BCCI to remove him as ODI captain as well.
When asked, if Kohli could be used as an opener by RCB this year, Shastri said:
“That tends to depend on the balance of the team. I’m not sure what their middle-order consists of. It’s not a bad idea for Virat to open if they have a really strong middle-order.”