Newly appointed India coach said that captain Virat Kohli is yet to reach his peak as a batsman. Kohli, apart from being the skipper, is also considered by some as the best batsman in the world across all formats. Since becoming Test captain, he has scored four double centuries and also performed numerous match winning innings for the team in ODIs.
“Kohli is a champion cricketer, he has not yet reached his peak. The next five or six years will define the real Virat Kohli,” Shastri is quoted as saying by India Today. Kohli was made India’s captain in all formats in early 2017 when MS Dhoni stepped down from the role as limited overs skipper of the team.
Shastri also said that India’s Test side can be better any team the country has put out in the longest format of the game. “This is a team you can travel with (anywhere). There is a battery of pacers which can do well in all conditions and take 20 wickets. Their age is such that they are playing at the right time,” said Shastri.
Shastri also addressed the issue of the future of Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh in the team. “2019 (World Cup) is a long way to go. They are both champion cricketers. We will deal with it when the time arrives. I am just getting into the dressing room again, so I need to spend time with the captain (Kohli) and take things forward,” he said.
Shastri was appointed as India’s head coach on Tuesday. He has earlier been Team Director and had applied for the job in 2016. But, at the time, Anil Kumble was selected by the Cricket Advisory Committee. Kumble led India to a successful home Test season in which the team beat England, Australia, Bangladesh and New Zealand. They also reached the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 before Kumble announced his decision to not continue as cach so following differences with captain Virat Kohli.