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Ravi Shastri backs Virat Kohli: 'A player's captaincy should not be judged by number of ICC titles'

Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli

Muscat, January 25: In a rather veiled support to Virat Kohli, former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri said that a player’s captaincy should not be judged by the number of ICC titles won, rather it should be on how the cricketer played and whether it was with integrity.

Shastri's comments come two weeks after Virat Kohli stepped down as India's Test skipper.

Last year, Kohli stepped down as the T20I captain and then he was removed as ODI captain as the selectors wanted just one white-ball captain.

"Many players have not won the World Cup, Sourav Ganguly has not won it, Rahul Dravid has not won it, Anil Kumble has not won it, Laxman has not won it. Even Rohit Sharma has not won it but it does not mean they are bad players.

“You go and play, there are just two World Cup-winning captains -- MS Dhoni and Kapil Dev. Sachin Tendulkar took six World Cups to lift his first title," Shastri told ANI.

"It is not a question that you are judged by the World Cup, at the end of the day, you are judged on how you play, whether you play the game with integrity. That is how you judge the players at the end of the day," he added.

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and Kohli gave different versions on how the ODI captaincy was taken away from Kohli.

Ganguly had also said that he had asked Kohli to not leave the T20I captaincy, but the 33-year-old said that nothing like that was conveyed to him. There was a future after Kohli’s press conference ahead of the tour of South Africa where he spoke about the lack of communication from the BCCI’s side.

Since then India lost the Test series against South Africa after winning the first Test at Centurion, and Kohli moved away from the leadership role and the BCCI is on the move to appoint a new Test captain ahead of India’s home Test series against Sri Lanka in February.

"I do not know what communication happened between both parties (Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli). I have not spoken to them, when I get the chance to talk to them, then I can speak to give my viewpoint.

“When you have half-knowledge, then you should be quiet. When you have full knowledge, then you should be speak," said Shastri.

When asked whether Rohit Sharma is fit enough to be the next Test captain, Shastri said: "I have not watched cricket for three months, when I see the cricket then I can give my judgment. If I have not seen then I will not give my verdict."

In his note while announcing his decision to step down as Test captain, Virat Kohli had thanked Ravi Shastri and MS Dhoni for their continuous support.

Talking about Virat's decision to leave Test captaincy, Shastri said: "There is a time for everything, you have to respect Virat's choice. Many players in the past have left the captaincy to focus on their batting or cricket, be it Sunil Gavaskar or anyone.

“I have not seen anything, I do not think there will be much change in Kohli,” said Shastri.

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Story first published: Tuesday, January 25, 2022, 16:16 [IST]
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