‘Thought Kohli would be asked to lead’: Shastri’s bombshell on 5th Test vs England | Cricket
In the past week, Virat Kohli has led Royal Challengers Bangalore In the absence of Faf du Plessis; While the South African star is available to bat, fitness issues have prevented him from taking the field in the last three matches. Since Kohli’s return as captain, RCB have won two matches, conceding a defeat earlier this week against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Kohli’s return as captain was a pleasant surprise for fans and former cricketers alike; The 34-year-old had stepped down as RCB captain after the 2021 edition of the tournament. During the same year, Kohli relinquished the captaincy in T20Is as well and was later dropped as captain in ODIs as well. In January 2022, he also relinquished his duties as Test captain.
With the star batsman returning to take up the leadership role for du Plessis, former India head coach Ravi Shastri was asked if Kohli could be seen donning the captaincy cap in international colors as well – if a regular captain is available. Not there. And interestingly, Shastri refreshed his memory in the rescheduled fifth Test against England at Edgbaston, where Rohit was ruled out days before the game due to COVID-19 infection, and Jasprit came in instead. Bumrah led the team.
Shastri said that if he was still the coach, he would have recommended Kohli’s name for the captaincy in the game.
“I thought he (Kohli) would (lead the team). Once Rohit got injured (COVID-19 infection), I thought he would be asked. If I were still there, I would be. I am sure Rahul would have done the same; I don’t know, I haven’t spoken to him, but I would have recommended to the board that he lead only because he was part of the team that was leading the series 2-1. And he could probably get the best out of the players,” pointed out Shastri ESPNcricinfo.
Asked if Kohli would have any hesitation to lead the team again, Shastri said it was an “honour to lead the country”.
“Not at all. It’s an honor to lead your country. These are situations where you have to put your best foot forward. Your regular captain is injured, he’s not part of the team, so seeing what’s at stake , Beating England 2-1 in England… How many teams beat England and Australia overseas in the same year? Shastri added.