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Virat Kohli reminds me of Viv Richards and Imran Khan: Ravi Shastri

WELLINGTON: An unabashed fan of skipper Virat Kohli, head trainer Ravi Shastri when compared him to cult cricketing figures like Sir Vivian Richards and the iconic former Pakistan captain Imran Khan.

"The closest I've seen to the nice man. Virat is for your face, he desires to dominate and has a piece ethic like nobody else. Whether it involves self-discipline, coaching, sacrifice or self-denial, it is unbelievable.

"I think India is fortunate to have a pace-setter of that kind. He reminds me of Imran Khan in some ways - in the best way he sets the example and sets the factors, and is going about defining it in his personal way and main from the front," Shastri stated.

However, Shastri is confident that Kohli will evolve further as a captain.

"As a long way as I am concerned, tactically, there is still room for plenty of development as captain. He has gotten better and better, and better, and I assumed in the Australian Test collection, tactically he outsmarted Australia.

"I still see more room across formats for him to evolve. As a captain, Virat will evolve further," stated Shastri.

Kuldeep Yadav is firmly forward of veteran Ravichandran Ashwin in the pecking order as India's frontline spinner on overseas soil, Shastri asserted, bringing up his five-wicket haul in opposition to Australia in the Sydney Test this yr.

Shastri made it clear that going ahead, wrist spinners might be in style in Test cricket and Kuldeep is "already" forward of Ashwin and Jadeja as country's No.1 spinner.

"Already! He plays overseas Test cricket and he gets five wickets, so he becomes our primary overseas spinner. Going ahead, if we have to play one spinner, he is the one we will pick," Shastri stated.

"There is a time for everyone (referring to Ashwin's poor fitness record in 2018). But now Kuldeep is our frontline number one overseas spinner," he added.

Kuldeep bagged a five-for in the rain-affected Sydney Test and most of the Australian batsmen failed to learn him.

"I was very impressed with the way Kuldeep bowled in Sydney. Even in Test cricket, it is going to be the age of wrist spin, especially in overseas Test cricket. The way he bowled in Sydney, he becomes our number one spinner in overseas Test cricket," Shastri stated.

Cheteshwar Pujara used to be a revelation all over the tour of Australia the place he performed an enormous function in the country's first ever 2-1 collection win, fetching the participant of the collection award for it.

However, the same Pujara used to be dropped for the primary Test in opposition to England in Birmingham and Shastri printed how a minor glitch in his stance used to be corrected, which wasn't totally technical.

"It wasn't a technical issue. It was in his posture and the way he stood at the crease. It was a small thing, which can happen when you have played day in, and day out. I felt it was an issue," Shastri stated.

"We had to factor in if we wanted to take the risk of that first Test or get him right for the next 7-8 Tests. Or, take that chance of playing in all 8 Tests and he doesn't have enough time to sort that," the trainer, identified for his cricketing acumen, stated.

According to Shastri, the issue crept in when Pujara used to be enjoying county cricket in 2018 and it used to be a "conscious decision" to drop Pujara in England.

"And I will do that again if I get the results like the way I have," stated the straight-talking trainer.

Since getting back from Australia, Pujara has performed three again to again first-class games for Saurashtra, together with the continuing Ranji final in Nagpur and the trainer feels it is time he's taking some rest.

"...I feel like calling him from New Zealand and saying, enough Puji, take off your pads now and sit down!"

"And like I said earlier, he is the quintessential professional. That guy, when he gets in, he smells the leather. He doesn't let the bowler make him smell the leather. Chin music is different, when the bowler makes the ball go past you," he stated.

And then there used to be an inimitable Shastri remark about how Pujara is going about his activity.

"Pujara smells the leather, whether he is playing forward or backward defensive. No one smells the leather in defence better than Pujara. You can ask him if it is Christian Dior or Armani."

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