Cricket expert Ayaz Memon speaks to India Head Coach Ravi Shastri as a preview to the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019.
AM: A couple of years back when we had spoken, you mentioned that you are handling two alpha males in the dressing room, which is MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli. I had some compunctions, I didn't know how this will pan out, but seems that it panned out extremely well.
RS: Very well. In my mind, there was absolutely no doubt from the outset. It was doubting Thomases on the outside, who thought otherwise but if I am going to be worried about them, then I may as well do another job than this. I was never ever in doubt about the two of them having the kind of respect they have for each other, wanting to do a good job for each other because in the first phase of my job MS was the captain, the next half Virat was the captain. And I can see the commitment both had for each other when they played was tremendous.
AM: And does it really make for...
RS: And it spreads down the ranks then.
AM: It improves the dressing room...
RS: Absolutely. It spreads down the ranks because they all know how big a player he is, MSD. Everyone knows and they know what he has achieved in the game, the stature that he has and then to see the poise and to see the humility, you know his sheer presence there, the composure he brings when he is out there batting or even during keeping is something you have just got to watch and learn and try and emulate it.
AM: What seems to kind of astound people from the outside is they are such different personalities and yet it seems that they have found common ground?
RS: Which is good, we don't want all personalities to be the same in the team and then you know all hell will break loose, but you need that. That kind of a passion from Virat, the calmness from MS and each player is different. Rohit can be different from Shikhar. Kuldeep could be different from someone like Hardik. You would want that.