Fast bowling legend Shoaib Akhtar feels that after the end of Ravi Shastri’s tenure as a coach followed by Virat Kohli relinquishing captaincy across formats, the Indian team looks like a divided house with several unsettled issues plaguing them. He blamed this on their performance on the tour of South Africa which ended with a 0-3 clean sweep in the ODI series.
“I was told exactly what’s going to happen with Virat Kohli,” Akhtar said on his YouTube channel. “I was hoping he may not have to leave Test captaincy but then it happened exactly the way my Indian friends told me it will. Ravi Shastri kept this team together becoming a father figure. But once these two left the management, Indian team has suffered massive defeat.”
He further claimed that an atmosphere was created to leave Kohli with no choice but to quite Test captaincy. “A rift is visible in this and it will be important how it’s dealt with. I don’t think Kohli left of his own will. An atmosphere was created to force him to step down,” he said.
Akhtar also termed India’s performance during the ODI series as a little humiliating and urged their team management to resolve issues and inspire the players.
“The performance was a little humiliating. I don’t think India should have lost to a team like South Africa. The management, BCCI, captain and others will have to regroup and tell players they have to play for the country. But the issues will have to be resolved,” he said.
He also pointed out that India head coach Rahul Dravid will have an important role to play in leading the team from the mess. “From here, to save Indian cricket. coach Rahul Dravid will have to prove he can do more than what Ravi Shastri did during his tenure. Defeats result in rifts and it creates divisions. They will have to look to settle differences during team meetings and chart the way forward,” he said.