Cricket NewsR Sridhar, ex-fielding coach of the India team, has revealed in his...

    R Sridhar, ex-fielding coach of the India team, has revealed in his book an anecdote where Virat Kohli wanted MS Dhoni’s white-ball captaincy


    In Indian cricket teams, the changeover of captains is not always seamless. When a strong applicant enters the running while an experienced professional is still in place, things become more challenging. This very moment is a prime illustration of it. Although the BCCI has not made it clear whether Hardik Pandya is their long-term pick to lead India’s Twenty20 team, the player has made comments that suggest as much. However, all-format captain Rohit Sharma has also stated that he hasn’t made a decision on his T20 future.

    Even in Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s days, when he was a successful captain, there was debate about who would lead the limited-overs team if he decided to retire from Test cricket (2014-15). Concerns about Dhoni’s future as the white-ball squad’s leader arose after Virat Kohli assumed control of the Test team. Two power centers in the team may result from such a circumstance, but Ravi Shastri, the coach, successfully handled it by directing Kohli. This information was made public in R Sridhar’s new book, “Coaching Beyond- My Days with the Indian Cricket Squad,” which was authored by cricket writer R Kaushik. Sridhar was the fielding coach of the Indian team at the time.

    After being named the Test team’s captain, Sridhar emphasizes how Kohli was very anxious to take over as the captain for the white-ball squad as well. “There was a time in 2016 when Virat was very eager to be the captain of the white-ball team too. He said a few things that showed he was looking for the captaincy,” Sridhar writes in his book, which reflects primarily on his seven-year coaching tenure with the Indian cricket team as part of the Shastri-led support staff.

    Shastri stepped in and advised Kohli to wait for Dhoni to hand him the white-ball mantle. “One evening, Ravi called him and said, ‘Look, Virat, MS gave it (the captaincy) to you in red-ball cricket. You have to respect him. He will give it to you in limited-overs cricket, too, when the time is right. Unless you respect him now, tomorrow when you are the captain, you won’t get respect from your team. Respect him now, irrespective of what is going on. It will come to you, you don’t have to run behind it’.”

    When Dhoni stepped aside as India’s all-format captain in 2017, Kohli heeded the advice and did well. As their relationship strengthened, Dhoni played for Kohli for the remainder of his career, enthusiastically contributing his ideas. After the 2021 T20 World Cup, Kohli stood down as India’s T20I captain, serving as captain until 2022. He wanted to keep his position as ODI captain, but the BCCI chose Rohit in his place. Following the 2022 tour of South Africa, Kohli also gave up the Test captaincy.


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