Adelaide (The Telegraph): Former India captain and cricket manager Ravi Shastri spoke to The Telegraph on Friday morning.
The following are excerpts:
Q Did you expect India’s first (and possibly only) hundred of the Test series to come in the penultimate innings and for Virat Kohli to be the scorer?
A It wasn’t beyond Virat to be the first to do so, but I certainly didn’t expect it to come so late.
Your take on Virat’s 116, on Thursday...
A terrific innings... I’d told you after the Perth Test that his performance there (44,75) would be the turning point of his career... I’ve been proved right.
Virat had been under pressure after the first two Tests, so all the more credit to him?
He’s only 23, so what pressure? Even if he’d missed out on a few matches, so what? He’s got the benefit of age and should play for a number of years.
What stands out in Virat’s game?
Virat’s passionate and he’s got that hunger... He has that want to succeed... He wants to compete against the best and to do well against them... It’s there within him. His application had been very good in Perth and he played in the same vein here (in the first innings)... I especially liked Virat’s composure and the time he had for his shots... He’s got a superb back foot game.
Why have the more experienced batsmen not been successful?
One reason being they haven’t come across enough to the off-stump... Look at Virat and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Could Virat be under pressure, of a different kind, now?
No... He’s bound to be more confident now and he should enjoy his cricket.
Virat’s ODI debut was 34 months before he played his first Test...
He had to wait because he couldn’t get into the XI... His Test career should take off now. It’s important for the player himself to realise that he belongs to the big stage... Virat, I’m sure, has that feeling after the hundred.
Going forward, how should Virat handle himself?
Tell himself that he has the ability to become one of the best in the world... That, indeed, will drive him.
The last one... Do you see Virat as one day captaining India?
Absolutely, I do see Virat as a future captain... Let (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) be there for a couple of years and groom Virat. He’s an U-19 World Cup-winning captain, has enormous passion and that hunger to be an achiever. Good qualities all. He’s probably destined to captain India... And, don’t forget, Virat fits into all three formats.