Ravi Shastri, the India head coach, lavished praise on Virat Kohli, saying that the India captain exudes aggression on the field, but is in fact “one of the most pleasant and normal blokes” off it.
“He has matured tremendously. When I told the Aussie media he is the perfect gentleman, they were shocked,” Shastri told Michael Vaughan in The Telegraph. “On the field is one thing, but come off the field and meet him, he is one of the most pleasant and normal blokes you could ever meet.
“He is very caring with his team-mates and just a fantastic role model. I am lucky to be part of the dressing room and to see the greatest player in the world.”
Kohli, who has been a big advocate for red-ball cricket through his career, recently said stated his “vision” of turning India into a “superpower in Test cricket”.
And Shastri, for his part, said Kohli’s deep passion for Test cricket will keep aspiring young Indian cricketers hooked to the longest format of the game.
“In our country, where everything is driven by T20, IPL and one-day cricket, to have an individual like him put the onus on Test cricket more than any format of the game is massive because all the young kids want to emulate him,” Shastri said.
“If Virat Kohli said ‘I am bored with Test cricket’ you will see the impact it would have on the game, especially in India. For him to enjoy it, and enjoy the things that go with Test cricket, like the pressure an individual feels during a Test match, is great.”