Cricket

Virat Kohli could have continued as Test captain for two more years, says Ravi Shastri

Former India coach Ravi Shastri feels that Virat Kohli could have continued as India Test captain for two more years, but added that we should respect the cricketer's decision to give up captaincy.

Kohli stepped down as India captain recently after the team suffered a 2-1 series defeat in South Africa. The Delhi batter is India's most successful Test captain of all time, leading the side to 40 wins in 68 Tests.

Ravi Shastri with Virat Kohli. AFP

Ravi Shastri with Virat Kohli. AFP

Under the leadership of Kohli and the guidance of Shastri, India also won their first Test series in Australia in 2018-19.

In an interview with SportsTak, Shastri said Kohli could have won 50-60 Tests as the captain had he continued, but a "lot of people would have not been able to digest that fact".

"Whether Virat could have continued to lead India in Tests. For sure, he could have led India for at least two years because next two years India would be playing at home and who is coming over - 9 and 10 jacks, going by the rankings. But he would have then made it to 50-60 wins under his captaincy and a lot of people would have not been able to digest that fact," Shastri said.

"Two years, he could have carried on but we should respect his decision. In any other country, this kind of record is incredible. You won against Australia, England and lost 1-2 to South Africa but still, there are debates if he should be the captain or not."

Shastri also added that Kohli decided to quit captaincy in order to focus on his batting and "enjoy his cricket".

“Virat Kohli led India in 5-6 years in Tests and out of those, five years India was No 1. No Indian captain has this kind of record and there are only a handful of captains over the world with this kind of record. So when the most successful captain decides to step down as captain it's an individual's decision because his record of 40 wins is unprecedented,” Shastri said.

"So he only knows how much is he enjoying captaincy. When Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni were not enjoying captaincy, they left. Similarly, when Virat thought that he had won 40 matches, six years he had been leading and now he wants to enjoy his cricket. He wants to focus on his batting and release a bit of pressure and it happens with a lot of individuals."

The former all-format captain, Kohli, quit T20 captaincy in September last year. In December, he was removed as ODI captain as selectors wanted one captain in both white-ball formats.

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Updated Date: January 24, 2022 11:46:52 IST

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