Former India coach Ravi Shastri has spoken about the greatness of two of Indian cricket’s biggest stars – Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma – and how they are different from each other. Kohli, the former India captain and Rohit, currently in charge of the ODI and T20I teams, are the two most popular batting superstars in the team, but while it may be tough to pick one over the other on the basis of their batting prowess, the two individuals are a stark contrast to each other off the field.

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Shastri, who has spent a considerable time with each player as India’s head coach, opened up on the attitudes of Kohli and Rohit. Calling Kohli an absolute ‘beast’, Shastri highlighted how no one can match Virat when it comes to energy, passion and being competitive. However, once off the field, Kohli is as relaxed a person can be.

“Virat is like a beast on the field. He is a terrier. Once he enters the ground, he wants to compete is not worried about anybody. He is in-your-face and passionate. Off the field, he is totally opposite. Absolutely calm, chilled… there is no issue about him. He is 33. He has been contributing as a captain. The challenge comes when you are not captain after a span of time. Then to still have the energy to play as a player, get runs and help India win. If he does that, he would have completed a full circle,” Shastri told Shoaib Akhtar on the former Pakistan pacer’s YouTube channel.

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The former India all-rounder then weighed in on Rohit’s demeanour. Shastri called Rohit ‘laid-back’ in a positive way, while explaining the supreme turnaround which began reflecting in the 34-year-old’s batting.

“Now, Rohit is laid back. It was sometime that you got the feeling that the game came too easy to him, till he realised that ‘god has given me this gift and now let me also work harder and make the most of it’. And when in full flow, there are few batters who play like him,” said the former India coach.

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Shastri presented his views on the demanding nature of cricket and stressed on a couple of changes, which if implemented, could help bring balance to the game. The first thing he mentioned was to reduce the bouncer limit and secondly make sure the scheduling is such that players don’t feel burned out.

“If you have to create balance, there shouldn’t be two bouncers. Two is too much. When we used to play, there was no T20 cricket. There were enough 14-15 Test matches a year. The bowlers used to be fitter because there was less cricket. The amount of cricket that is played now, and if the same bowler is playing all three formats, what you expect out of him in the actual red-ball format will not be the same. He will play for 2-3 years and will run out of gas. Test cricket needs to be played by lesser teams and quality teams,” Shastri said.


Courtesy: Hindustan Times

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