Ajinkya Rahane

Virat Kohli will probably end up as one of the best-ever captains: Ravi Shastri

[caption id="attachment_59851" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Ravi Shastri Ravi Shastri[/caption]

Internet Desk: Virat Kohli led Indian cricket team beat South Africa in the third and final Test at Johannesburg last night. When everyone started thinking that the World No.1 side would face a whitewash against the Proteas, the Men in Blue fought back hard in the final Test to win the final test ahead of the limited overs series. Lack of fear and failure is the reason of success of team India in the third test said Ravi Shastri as he spoke to Mumbai Mirror.

How do you rate Virat Kholi’s captaincy as his bold captaincy was a standout feature of the series?
He always knew that India will win this game. He will probably end up as one of the best-ever captains of the game.

What’s your reaction of the series?
It’s proud moment for us as the boys played really well. This test is probably the bravest, most courageous, and the greatest win for India overseas. In terms of courage and bravery, I don't think there will be too many ahead of this. Specially for the challenging pitch at Wanderers.

What about the team combinations? Many felt that the right XI was not fielded.
We don't listen to other people. We go with our thinking. Other people's job is to judge. Our job is to take decisions.

How you explain the first two test defeats as you said India played like the No.1 team?
There were 20 sessions which you could give marks out of. Out of that, 11 went to South Africa and nine to India and we were 2-0 down. So what does it tell you? That we were very much in with a chance. Just that the key moments and big moments were lost in one session. So if you can tighten up those things, we win the next Test match. That is what happened. We went into the last Test to win. Nothing else.

What are the factors that stood out and what did not click?
The standout feature was 60 wickets. For the first time in the history of Indian cricket, on an overseas tour and outside the sub-continent, we have taken 60 wickets. That is the standout point. Things to improve are game awareness - like how to react to a situation and think that the team comes before you. Those points addressed, we will be even better.

Paying boldly and bravely is fine. What about pragmatism. Could some risky decisions been avoided...
Never. The fact we went in with five fast bowlers says it all. That answers the question.

Why you selected six batsmen on a green top?
I believe if five batsmen can't do the job, the sixth won't. I wanted to take 20 wickets, so I would rather have the 6th man who could bat and bowl.

Do you want to say anything on the Rohit- Rahane debate?
No debate at all as the team management decided it and I said that in the press conference already. That was an internal decision and we stick by it.

How do you analyze Ajinkya Rahane's game in the third Test?
He batted beautifully in the second innings.

What about Hardik Pandya? Did he also play beautifully?
He has already developed and will do further. He showed that in Cape Town with that innings. He showed that with his brilliance in the field. He showed that with the catch that turned the game. He showed that with the spells he bowled in the series. He is in this team to stay.

What about missing catches? Do you want to comment on that?
Not really.

Are there any lessons from South Africa for England and Australia series?
I said so before I left India. Fifteen months down the line, this will be a much better team than what it was when it left and I stick by that.

What to expect from the ODIs?
Let's enjoy this Test match victory. We'll think of the ODIs tomorrow. We'll take it one step at a time.



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