Ravi Shastri has often been criticized and perhaps incorrectly so, for being a bit too garrulous and fiercely outspoken. It’s felt that he’s got a mind of his own and well, that’s a fact. By the way, when was the last time you walked around with your neighbor’s brain and not yours? When was the last time that you borrowed someone else’s grey cells, leaving behind yours?
Everyone has a mind of their own. Everyone is an individual. But before criticizing Ravi Shastri- a familiar subject of memes and trolls- we mustn’t forget that he happens to be a World Cup-winner. He was part of the very team that won the 1983 World Cup and changed the course of Indian Cricket for times to come.
This happened long before the likes of Sachin the ‘God of cricket,’ and Ganguly and Dhoni, two great captains were even born in the sport.
So if Ravi Shastri acts funny at times, he’s earned the right. Well, the right is not to utter crap but the fact that he was fighting for the country and doing his best when today’s social-media fueled generation hadn’t even arrived on the planet.
To speak on a subject and dispense knowledge from the four-walled comfort of a superior Wi-Fi connection is one thing. To win games and try for India, in the midst of unpredictability and challenges is something quite other.
But that said, against that very narrative it is all the more surprising to note the comments made by Ravi Shastri on Virat Kohli.
Truth be told, one doesn’t have to be an Einstein to see that both Shastri and Kohli have a strong alliance and if it must be said, some sort of mutual-appreciation society.
Do they not? When was the last time you heard Kohli protesting about something that may not have worked in his team’s favor, the unit guarded and protected as intimately by the coach as the cricket captain?
There could’ve been lots of things- say the team composition for a series. Say the strategy to decide the batting positions. Or even the very fact that there may be some players who could be, as advised by the coach, still in the team when the fan and the experts feel the team could do without them?
That being said, it’s no different from Kohli’s coach’s angle, isn’t it? Can it be, especially in light of the recent comments made by Ravi Shastri on Virat Kohli?
Here’s what Ravi Shastri had to say:
“He is not the guy to mess around with.”
Surely, that sort of comment can be misinterpreted. But truth be told, the comments made by Ravi Shastri on Virat Kohli in this aspect concerned the area of fitness, to which the Indian cricket coach shared the following:
“When you talk about fitness, the leadership came from the top and that is Virat. Not the guy to mess around with.”
Now, this was simply the coach regarding his fellow captain, the one and only batsman of indomitable will and as we have come to know- world-class records.
But that said, could there have been a better more straightforward way of having said that instead of alluding to some sort of hero-worshipping?
When you say someone isn’t the guy to mess around with, you are trying to picture the image of a person with respect to a strong sense of character.
But what are you actually achieving?
Moreover, knowing the fact that (in the past), when Team India went through great and perhaps unimaginable sequences of capitulation such as the poor performance in the semi-finals (of the CWC 2019) and the recent letdown in New Zealand when Shastri didn’t criticize his captain and team- when he could have- it wasn’t too surprising to note his allegiance to Kohli.
Not that the comments made by Ravi Shastri on Virat Kohli do any colossal damage. The world doesn’t come to a halt. But it does reflect the servitude, should one say, to a player, regardless of him being world-class, which in times which could’ve or should’ve warranted criticism reflected a grim silence.
When Kohli comes out to bat, the world comes to immerse in an environment of pure thrill and entertainment. You get your time’s worth. It’s stupid to even debate the idea or notion that he’s a great batsman. Put the past episodes of temperamental outbursts aside, the numbers speak for him. And we must tip our hat to a man who as Gideon Haigh had said, contends with an ‘instinct of domination.’
But he’s also the same man, we mustn’t forget, who was in some major way responsible for showing Anil Kumble the door. If anyone doesn’t believe that, then they are happy living under the rock. More power to them!