Captaincy has always been a topic of hot debate in Indian cricket. The current situation is an example of how it can lead to power centres in the team. While there is no clarity from the BCCI’s side on whether Hardik Pandya is their long-term choice for India’s T20 captaincy, On the other hand, all-format skipper Rohit Sharma has also said that he hasn’t decided on his T20 future. And now, India fielding coach R Sridhar in his new book, Coaching Beyond — My days with the Indian cricket team, revealed how Ravi Shastri handled the captaincy situation under the leadership of MS Dhoni.
According to Sridhar, Kohli was being impatient to take the white-ball reins from Dhoni in 2016. The then-head coach Shastri made Kohli understand the situation. Shastri suggested Kohli should wait until Dhoni himself would take any step to hand over the white-ball captaincy.
“There was a time in 2016 when Virat was very eager to be the captain of the white-ball team too. He said a few things that showed he was looking for the captaincy,” Sridhar writes in his book, which reflects primarily on his seven-year coaching tenure with the Indian cricket team as part of the Shastri-led support staff.
Shastri stepped in and advised Kohli to wait for Dhoni to hand him the white-ball mantle. “One evening, Ravi called him and said, 'Look, Virat, MS gave it (the captaincy) to you in red-ball cricket. You have to respect him. He will give it to you in limited-overs cricket, too, when the time is right. Unless you respect him now, tomorrow when you are the captain, you won't get the respect from your team. Respect him now, irrespective of what is going on. It will come to you, you don't have to run behind it'."
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