He also shared his views on emerging talent Arshdeep Singh and his potential to play in all formats of the game.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Shastri spoke on how Virat Kohli’s headspace is at the moment.
“As opposed to last year when we were sitting in discussing does he need a break, does he not need a break, you know he seemed to have the burden of the whole world on his shoulders. Now, refreshing. You know, you feel that enthusiasm, that passion for the game, that energy and enjoyment has come back which for me was the best thing to see. See, runs you might get or you might not get but when you have that sense when you see someone that the passion, the enjoyment and the drive is back again is good, specially a player of his quality.”
Asked if he would have liked to see Virat Kohli captain the squad during the 5th Test of the England-India series, where Jasprit Bumrah stepped in as captain for the injured Rohit Sharma, the former India head coach said, “I thought he would. Once Rohit was injured, I thought he would be asked, if I was still there. I’m sure Rahul (Dravid) might have done the same thing. I don’t know. I’ve not spoken to him. I would have recommended to the board that it’s only fair that he leads because he’s part of the team that’s leading 2-1 in the series and could have got the best out of the players.”
Further asked if Kohli would have had his objections to leading the squad, Shastri said, “Not at all, it’s about leading your country and these are circumstances where you got to put your best foot forward. Your regular captain is injured is he’s not part of the team. So seeing what’s at stake, you know beating England in England, 2-1 up. I mean how many teams can beat England and Australia in the same year.”
He also spoke on how impressed he is with Arshdeep.
“To be honest the more I see him, I felt that he can play all formats for India. Though I have not seen much of him in red ball format. But the way Arshdeep is improving and running in, he is gaining confidence. I think he will become a little stronger than I saw him last year resulting in very good performance.”
Shastri futher said that he can see Arshdeep play in longer formats of the game as well.
“Yes, there is room for improvement and I think when you see injuries are taking place to some of the other players, Arshdeep is someone should be kept in the mix and should be given that opportunity and given that encouragement to play. I am sure he can bowl 10 overs, he is still young and I am talking about the red ball format as well.”
Comments are closed.