Is coach Shastri a ‘Yes Man’? "No" says captain Kohli

Ruben Hill
November 15, 2018

There has been a general perception in the public that ever since India's head coach Ravi Shastri has taken over from Anil Kumble in 2017 middle, he has been a "yes man" to the captain Virat Kohli, that he only says "come on boys", "well played" and doesn't give catches at practice sessions like other coaches usually do. That is something we realise as a team also. We felt there was not a lot that we did wrong but whatever was not right went extreme. "If we learn from the mistakes made in South Africa and England, I think it will stand us in good stead in Australia". "About saying yes all the time, that's the most freaky thing". If I'm told, it's a hard situation and I need to find a way, no one can tell me each ball what shot to play or no one can come and tell me the decisions I make every ball.

That is why the team is more focussed on improving its performance with the bat in Australia, where they will play a series of four Tests starting December 6. "The whole combination has to come together to win the series and not just a Test match", Kohli stressed. That's how the game of cricket goes but at the same time, in our minds, we will have to keep it competitive and not let our energies drop. We have to understand how to control the situation (after a collapse). "We have to find a solution in tough situations rather than feeling that it would appear from somewhere". I am saying this in spite of the result in England. Because we understand that for the top order, it can get hard when guys are bowling a good spell and it's really tough.

Speaking at the pre-departure press conference, Kohli said, "I think that's (no sledging policy) a very personal thing for them".

"We are all feeling good about the fact that we have a great bowling attack but the batsmen need to step up as well, which we have spoken as a team after the England tour". No one can tell me every ball what shot I need to make, or decisions I make every ball. That was the difference in the series.

On the perception that Shastri is Kohli's "yes" man, the captain said: "About saying yes all the time, that is the most freakish thing that I have heard". And he'll tell you if there is something that doesn't need to be done, then it doesn't need to be done. Virat Kohli also added that Shastri's contribution to the team made people believe that they belong at this level. "I can vouch for it because at a time when we all went through a really hard time in England in 2014...for me to be able to come out of that shell [and] a lot of other players, like Shikhar [Dhawan] in the 2015 World Cup, he can vouch for that as well...you know to get the best out of players, I think he's been the most important factor. I've made the most changes to my game listening to him [Shastri] than anyone else in the past", Kohli said. "As far as one-day cricket goes, we will try and play the 15 that will go to the World Cup".

"Man management is the most important thing at the level we play at".

India's main focus at this point in time remains on the batsmen will perform on the tour of Australia as that was the only area where the team was found lacking in their previous Test series in England, according to captain Virat Kohli.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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