Ravi Shastri’s Focus Shifts to Virat Kohli

  • Ravi Shastri saw Virat Kohli’s leadership qualities while MS Dhoni was the captain
  • The duo forged a strong partnership, achieving significant success in Test cricket
  • Ravi Shastri praised Kohli’s passion, work ethic, and his commitment to playing tough cricket
  • Kohli’s absence in the final three Tests against England has been confirmed by BCCI


Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has revealed that he recognized Virat Kohli’s potential as a captain well before the latter replaced MS Dhoni as the leader of the Indian cricket team. Shastri, who briefly served as the team director in 2014 when Dhoni was still the captain, had his eyes set on Kohli even during that time. After becoming the head coach in 2017, Shastri witnessed the strong partnership between him and Kohli, which took Indian cricket to new heights, particularly in Test matches. This article delves into Shastri’s observations and praises for Kohli’s captaincy.

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Recognizing Kohli’s Potential

Ravi Shastri, known for his astute understanding of the game, spoke about his early impressions of Virat Kohli’s leadership capabilities. Despite MS Dhoni being the captain during Shastri’s initial stint as team director in 2014, he had his eye on Kohli. Shastri revealed that he told Kohli in his second month as team director, “It’ll take time but watch, observe, be ready (for the captaincy).” This foresight from Shastri shows his belief in Kohli’s ability to take charge and lead the team.

Strong Partnership and Test Success

When Ravi Shastri took charge as head coach in 2017, Virat Kohli had already replaced MS Dhoni as the captain across all formats. Under their leadership, India achieved remarkable success in Test cricket. They secured India’s first-ever Test series victory in Australia during the 2018/19 season, a feat they repeated in the 2020/21 season. Additionally, India won Test matches in South Africa and England and remained unbeaten in Test series at home during their tenure. This success was a result of their shared vision for Test cricket and their focus on building a formidable team.

Kohli’s Passion and Work Ethic

Ravi Shastri commended Virat Kohli for his unwavering passion and dedication towards Test cricket. He emphasized Kohli’s willingness to put in the hard yards and play tough cricket, which aligned perfectly with Shastri’s own mindset. The former coach also highlighted their shared desire to have a battery of fast bowlers and Kohli’s readiness to embrace intense training sessions. Shastri recalled their practice sessions, where they encouraged bowlers to bowl aggressively, and Kohli was the first to fully embrace the challenge. This change in mindset and approach had a significant impact on the team’s performance.


Former India coach Ravi Shastri’s revelation about recognizing Virat Kohli’s captaincy potential even during MS Dhoni’s tenure sheds light on the foresight and belief he had in the young cricketer. The partnership between Shastri and Kohli resulted in many milestones, including India’s historic Test series victories in Australia and other challenging cricketing nations. Kohli’s absence in the final three Tests against England adds a new twist to the ongoing series, but his impact as a leader will always be remembered.

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