Expected Virat Kohli To Lead India When Rohit Sharma Was Injured, Ravi Shastri’s Honest Admission

Virat Kohli’s unfulfilling exit as India’s captain from all three formats of the game did feel like a bad breakup story. With the cricking world still trying to understand what transpired between India’s finest Test captain to date and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), there remain those who are still wondering if there’s a way for Kohli to return as India’s captain for one last match. Though his return as Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper, even on a temporary basis, gave fans something to cheer about, former India head coach Ravi Shastri has admitted that he expected Kohli to lead when Rohit was injured for the rescheduled Birmingham Test against England.

With Rohit out due to a Covid-19 infection, it was Jasprit Bumrah who led the Indian team for the rescheduled 5th Test against Ben Stokes’ men. The first four tests of the series were led by Kohli. But, there was no U-turn for Virat, even for the solitary match despite Rohit’s absence. Shastri said that if he was the head coach for that match, he would’ve asked Kohli to lead.

“I thought he (Kohli) would (lead the side). Once Rohit was injured (positive Covid-19 report), I thought he would be asked. If I was still there, I would’ve. I’m sure Rahul might have done the same thing; I don’t know, I haven’t spoken to him, but I would’ve recommended the board that it’s only fair he leads because he was part of the team that was leading 2-1 in the series . And he probably could’ve gotten the best out of players,” Shastri said in an interview on ESPNCricinfo.

When asked if doubts over leading the country would’ve prevented Kohli from taking up the baton for the said match, Shastri quashed the suggestion.

“Not at all. It’s an honor leading your country. These are circumstances where you got to put your best foot forward. Your regular captain is injured, he’s not part of the team, so seeing what’s at stake, beating England in England, 2 -1 up… how many teams beat England and Australia in the same year, overseas?” Shastri further said.

Could it be possible for Kohli to comeback and lead India again, maybe in the World Test Championship final this year? Shastri is dreaming and so are millions of fans.

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