Ravi Shastri speaks on identifying Virat Kohli as an “uncut diamond” when MS Dhoni was India captain
Virat Kohli has been undoubtedly one of the finest cricketers that the world has ever seen. Not only has he shone as a batter but his days as an Indian captain have seen many glorious moments being penned.
When Ravi Shastri took over the reins of the Indian cricket team as a head coach, MS Dhoni was leading the side. However, the former Indian cricketer had his eyes on Kohli to be the future skipper.
In a conversation with Michael Atherton as quoted by PTI, Shastri said, “There was a lot of individual brilliance but I wanted to see team brilliance. I wanted to win and to make Test cricket paramount and identified an uncut diamond in Virat Kohli.”
He further said, “While (MS) Dhoni was my captain, my eye was on him (Kohli). I told him very early in my second month: ‘It’ll take time but watch, observe, be ready (for the captaincy).’”
Shastri continued, “Kohli was fully engaged with Test cricket. He was passionate. He was prepared to do the hard yards and was prepared to play tough cricket, which fitted my way of thinking. When you play Australia or Pakistan you’ve got to have a 'no complaints', 'no excuses' attitude."
He concluded by saying, “We were on the same page and wanted a battery of fast bowlers. He was ready for a scrap. He wanted to play hard. We made it a free-for-all in the nets. You were allowed to bounce the s*** out of anyone. He was the first guy to embrace it; he was quite prepared to look ugly in the nets and the mindset changed.”