The new Indian Test captain Virat Kohli's aggressive attitude on the field has been strongly defended by Team Director Ravi Shastri, who says that it brings out the best in him.
In an exclusive interview to PTI here today, Shastri said the aggressive streak is working wonders for Kohli the batsman, who has already struck three hundreds in the ongoing Test series. He said the whole of Australia was admiring him for the way he is playing here.
Shastri also paid tribute to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who took a shock retirement from Test cricket, saying that his "selfless act" of retiring from the five-day format at the right time should be given its due respect.
He also strongly rebutted reports that the growing closeness between him and Kohli resulted in Dhoni quitting Test cricket with immediate effect.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q: Virat Kohli is the next captain. Do you think he needs to curb his aggressive mood a little bit?
A: What is wrong with that aggressive attitude? If he was only talking on the field and had scored only 5 runs in three Tests, I would have had a word with him. But he is 1 run short of 500 runs in this series. So obviously he is doing something right and it is working wonders for him and the team of course. He is an aggressive cricketer and he loves this attitude on the field and it brings out the best in him.
Sir Vivian Richards is in Melbourne and has praised his attitude. The whole of Australia is admiring him the way he is playing here, because for a long time they haven't seen anyone who plays such brand of cricket, against them, in their own country.
Of course Virat is only a young man, a young captain now, he will learn gradually with time as well. He will mature into an even better cricketer and that is only good for the team as a whole.