Ravi Shastri says ‘boss’ Virat Kohli sets the standard

Coach's praise for India captain

Virat Kohli India vs Australia 2013

Virat Kohli is the boss of the India cricket team, according to head coach Ravi Shastri.

Shastri says that Kohli sets the example with his work-rate and leadership and believes his own role is all about taking the pressure off the talisman. Kohli has led his country to a record 12 successive home Test wins.

“The captain is the boss, I always believe that,” Shastri told the Sky Cricket Podcast.

“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.

Speaking to Nasser Hussain, Rob Key and Michael Atherton, he added: “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.

“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. I could see that change happening all the time. He got up one day and said ‘Ravi, I'm vegetarian!'

“When he sets those standards, it rubs off on others. Test cricket for us is the biggest form. It's the benchmark. We want to set standards.”

IPL season still in doubt

The Coronavirus outbreak continues to hit the cricket calendar across the world and there is still uncertainty about if the IPL season will get the go-ahead.

If it was cancelled, it would mean England’s Jonny Bairstow won’t be able to continue his partnership for Sunrisers Hyderabad teammate David Warner. The duo smashed four century stands together in 2019.

Reflecting on his IPL spell last season, Bairstow told the Sky Cricket Podcast: “It was an amazing experience. I had played against Dave (Warner) but then playing with him, it was fascinating getting an insight into the way he goes about T20 cricket.

“He has played that role [of pantomime villain] in international cricket, trying to get under the skin of the opposition but going into an environment I'd never been into before, I couldn't have asked for much more.

“He was very welcoming and very helpful, whether it was on the opposition we were playing against or the pitches we were playing on.”

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