Former India head coach Ravi Shastri heaped huge praise on Virat Kohli for his passion for Test cricket. The Shastri-Kohli duo took the Indian Cricket to new heights in Test cricket with some dominating performances in overseas conditions including a back-to-back series win on Australian soil. The Indian team performed exceedingly well in 2021’s England tour with a 2-1 lead as the series failed to complete due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
India dominated the Test ranking in the past five years with their winning spree in home conditions and competitive show away from home.
Shastri talked about India’s domination and said it is the ambassador for Test cricket as Kohli worships the longest format of the game.
“I think if any team has been an ambassador for Test match over the last five years, it is this Indian cricket team. Virat worships Test match cricket, as do most of the team, which might surprise the world because of the amount of one-day cricket India plays, then IPL. If you ask anyone in the team, 99 percent of them would say they love Test match cricket. That’s why, what India have done in the last five years – remain as the No. 1 team in the world at the end of every year," Shastri told renowned author Jeffrey Archer on his podcast.
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India came close to becoming the inaugural World Test Champion but they lost to New Zealand a one-off Test in the decider. Shastri said that the journey of Indian cricket in the past few years is remarkable as the team set a benchmark in red-ball cricket.
“We may have lost the one-off WTC final against New Zealand – but otherwise We have dominated the format for the last five years. To win two series in Australia, to win the series that was taking place in England, to win everywhere around the world – white-ball and red-ball cricket, and to set a benchmark in red-ball cricket, the fast bowlers coming to the fore – unheard of from the Indian cricket team – it was remarkable," added the former India coach.
Shastri’s tenure as Team India head coach ended after the 2021 T20 World Cup where the Men in Blue failed to reach semifinals. India failed to live up to expectations in white-ball cricket but the Kohli-Shastri duo wrote a golden chapter in India’s Test cricket history.
“For me the greatest legacy this generation and this lot of players will leave is the way they have played Test cricket and embraced it," Shastri said.