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Ravi Shastri says Virat Kohli is the boss on the field; urges players to re-energise during lockdown

Ravi Shastri says Virat Kohli is the boss

Bengaluru, March 28: Virat Kohli and the rest of the Indian team are in lockdown currently with all cricketing activities suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. India's first ODI against South Africa was washed out in Dharamsala and thereafter the remaining two ODIs were called off due to the prevailing health situation across the globe.

However, India head coach Ravi Shastri said the players should use the time to reenergize themselves and prepare for assignments as and when they come their way.

1. Shastri on sudden break from game

1. Shastri on sudden break from game

"(This rest) cannot be a bad thing because towards the end of the New Zealand tour, you could see some cracks coming up when it came to mental fatigue, physical fitness and injuries," Shastri said. He was speaking to former England captains Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain and Rob Key on a Sky Sports podcast.

"The amount of cricket we have played over the last ten months, that was beginning to take its toll. Guys like me, and some other guys from the support staff, we left India on May 23 for the World Cup in England. Since then we have been at home for 10 or 11 days.

"There are certain players who played all three formats, so you can imagine the toll it has taken on them, especially being on the field, adjusting from T20s to Test match cricket and all the travel that goes with that because we travelled quite a lot," Shastri said. "So, it has been tough but a welcome rest for players," he said.

2. We saw it coming: Shastri

2. We saw it coming: Shastri

"We knew something was on the cards as the disease had just started spreading. When the second ODI (against South Africa) was called off, we knew something was gonna happen and a lockdown was imminent. I think the players knew it was coming, they sensed it in New Zealand. There were apprehensions towards the end of that tour, when flights were coming through Singapore, out of Singapore."

"By the time we landed (in India), I thought we got out at just the right time. There were only two cases in New Zealand at that time, that has rocketed now to 300. The day we landed, that was the first day they were screening and testing people at the airport. So (we came back) just in the nick of time," Shastri.

3. Kohli is the boss: Shastri

3. Kohli is the boss: Shastri

"The captain is the boss, I always believe that. The job of the coaching staff, as far as I'm concerned, is to prepare the guys in the best possible way to be able to go out there and play brave, positive, fearless cricket. The captain leads from the front. Yes, we are there to take off the burden but you leave him to do his job in the middle. The captain sets the tone and is encouraged to set the tone. In the middle, he controls the show," he said.

4. Shastri lauds Kohli's fitness

4. Shastri lauds Kohli's fitness

"When you talk about fitness, the leadership came from the top and that is Virat. He is not a guy to mess around. He woke up one morning and said if 'I want to play this game I want to be the fittest player in the world and compete against the best in all conditions' and he let his body go through one hell of a lot.

"It was not just the training but the sacrifices he made with his diet. He got up one day and said 'Ravi, I'm vegetarian!' When he sets those standards, it rubs off on others," said the head coach.

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Story first published: Saturday, March 28, 2020, 12:47 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 28, 2020
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