After coming off of seven consecutive Test match victories, India captain Virat Kohli swooped in to defend his head coach, Ravi Shastri on India Today‘s show “Inspiration”, as he termed the relentless trolling of the 57-year-old as “agenda-driven”.
Kohli obviously came prepared with his riposte to the coach’s critics as he mentioned the achievements of the former player and challenged the trolls to mirror them. He even mentioned that Shastri is least affected by perception that he is the captain’s “yes man”.
“I think most of these things are agenda-driven and I don’t know whose, why, what for, but to accept lies in that manner, it couldn’t be anything but agenda-driven,” he said. “…in Ravi bhai‘s case, luckily, he is a person that doesn’t care at all.”
In his playing days, Shastri started out as a left-arm spinner but quickly changed his fortune, and went on to open the innings for India. He even won the famous “Champion of the Champions” Award in the 1985 World Series Cricket, and Kohli touched upon all that while offering his unequivocal support to the head coach.
“[Promoted from] number 10 to opener and got an average of 41 as an opener, he is not going to be bothered about someone sitting at home and trolling him, because if you want to troll a guy who has done that, then get up, face those bowlers, do what he has done, have the clarity to do it, have the courage to do it, then have a debate with that guy,” he continued.
“He is absolutely chilled out, he says our only focus is how we can be the best team of all time. I think these petty things on the outside, they don’t matter at all to him.”
Moving on from the topic, Kohli lauded his seam tam by calling it as a “dream combination” that holds the ability to torment any opposition on any kind of surface. After the pink ball rout, the captain said there is always bonhomie among his pacers, without an an iota of insecurity amongst them.
“There is no jealousy at all and that is their biggest strength, they don’t care whether Shami is at 7 now or Jassi [Bumrah] is at whatever ranking he is or Ishant,” Kohli said.
“I think full credit has to go to them to these guys that they have been able to create this aura around them because of that friendship that belief and the intent being in the right place.”
The 31-year-old concluded by talking about what makes any sportsperson and how much he hates losing.
“Well I don’t know how to explain it I mean I just hate losing. Basically I hate losing in anything, that is how a sportsman is made up, that is the makeup of any sportsman competing at the highest level,” he said.
“I don’t want any maybe, I don’t what any ifs, when I walk on to that field it is an honour for me, and when I walk out I want to have zero energy left. I’m actually always trying to avoid that feeling and that’s why I go along about my work in a crazy manner. I just have to put all my effort into every ball that I play, field or I am a part of.”