Shastri: Time for Kohli to lead in all formats


Former India team director Ravi Shastri thinks the selectors should look at making Test skipper Virat Kohli the captain in all formats, given how little limited overs cricket will be played in the coming months.

As such, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who handed over the Test captaincy to Kohli when he retired from the format in late 2014, should be relieved of the ODI and T20 captaincy, Shastri feels.

Shastri told India Today Television: "I definitely think so [Kohli should be given the job across formats]. You have to see where India is going to go three years down the line.

"There are no major events till about three years down the line when you are back with the World Cup. So, this is your best time to think and build.

"India play hardly any one-day cricket if you see the next 18 months-two years, and the gaps between Tests and ODIs are massive.

"So, here's your time to look ahead and see what you can do with an Indian side all-round three years down the line. If I am the chairman of selectors, I would be thinking in that direction, no question about it.

"The game has to evolve, hard decisions have to be taken, such is life. And nothing wrong in that, it is in the interest of Indian cricket.

"If you see down the line and you think Dhoni is still the best captain, keep him as captain. But the issue here is the breaks [between Tests and ODIs], and do you have a guy ready [to succeed Dhoni].

"My answer is you have a guy ready."

Shastri denied that he was suggesting Dhoni be dropped from the short format teams, saying that he merely thought giving Kohli the captaincy was a good move in the long term, and that the pressure would be off Dhoni's shoulders.

He added: "By no stretch of imagination you are taking anything away from Dhoni. He can still contribute massively as a player. I think the time has come for to allow him to enjoy himself and enjoy the game.

"End of the day, it is about how hungry Dhoni is, how passionate he is, whether the juices still go as in wanting to play for India. Also the time has come where you have a guy whom you have groomed over a period of time. Virat is ready."