Captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri addressed the media in a pre departure press conference before leaving for Sri Lanka, where they will be up for their first assignment together as a coach-captain duo.
Former director of team India Ravi Shastri was appointed as the head coach after a long dramatic flip flop session where a lot of names were being thrown in for the contention of the top job. Though the drama didn’t end with Shastri’s appointment, former Indian cricketers Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid were also selected by the CAC as supporting staff to Ravi Shastri , they were given the post of bowling and batting consultant respectively. Days after the announcement Bhara Arun was appointed as the bowling coach by the BCCI on Shastri’s nod, which left the future of Rahul and Zaheer uncertain with the team. Later it was announced that BCCI will make a final decision on their contracts after a meeting with the team administration and coach.
Here are the take aways from Virat-Shastri Press conference before travelling to Sri Lanka:
On team India’s last visit to Sri Lanka Virat said “the tour was a landmark tour for us, we showed that we can win test matches away from home. We have that culture in the team to win from any situation.”
On his rumoured rifts with ex-coach Anil Kumble and his alleged role in the selection of Ravi Shastri, Virat said “I only have my bat in hand, and my job is to go out there and control what’s happening on the field, that’s what I have focused on since last couple of months and I will continue doing it. Lot of things fly around which are not in my control.”
Ravi Shastri joined in the captain and credited the team for its success, Shastri said India has done really well and they deserve all the credit. Making a strong statement he also stated that people like Anil Kumble and Ravi Shastri will come and go but the fabric of Indian cricket will remain intact.
India’s tour of Sri Lanka—Fabric of Indian cricket will remain; People like us will come and go: Ravi Shastri pic.twitter.com/7TKFSd7wpr
— NewsX (@NewsX) July 19, 2017
“The credit should go to everyone who has participated in this team over the last 3 years. If they are number one today they have put in the efforts to be there, they deserve the credit people like us will come and go.”
When asked about his equation with Shastri, whether Virat will have to adapt to some new changes under him, the captain said there isn’t anything new he will have to bring in as the dup has already worked together before and understand each other well.
On being asked about added pressure going into the series after all the drama that unfolded, Virat firmly replied that there is no extra pressure on him; I do not take any added pressure, as a player I only focus on the series I have to play.”
The much speculated appointment of Bharat Arun was a curious topic for the media, on being asked about the appointment coach Ravi Shastri cited how the team had enjoyed great success under him in the last World Cup.
“If Bharat Arun’s name was someone else, you would have put it on top. India took 77 of the 80 wickets that fell in the last World Cup. I don’t think I need to say anything more after this.”
On relationship with the team administration and coaches, Virat said; everyone has relationships in every phase of life, it’s not just confined to cricket. Everyone has gone through experiences of relationships like this in our lives and the same rules apply here.
Indian team will travel to Sri Lanka next where they will play a series of 3 test matches, followed by 5 ODIs and 1 T-20 game. It will be a big test for the coach captain duo in their first task. The series begins from July 26th and will end on 6th September.