Former India head coach suggests not announcing a vice-captain beforehand, but picking someone who can ‘fit into the XI’ on the day
Shastri took over as commissioner of the Legends League Cricket, a T20 league that features former players, following his stint as India head coach. He said he did not follow the series in South Africa, but he was confident the team would bounce back. “If you lose one series, you people start criticising… You can’t win every game, there will be wins and losses,” he said. “How can the standard go down suddenly? For five years, you have been number one side in the world.”
“It’s his choice. You have to respect his decision. There is a time for everything. A lot of big players in the past have left captaincy when they felt they wanted to focus on their batting or on their cricket.
“Whether it’s (Sachin) Tendulkar, (Sunil) Gavaskar or (MS) Dhoni. And, it’s Virat Kohli now.”
“If you announce beforehand, then what happens if the player can’t fit into the team? Then there will be a problem, because ‘How can we drop the vice-captain?'”
Ravi Shastri on why he thinks it’s better not to name an official vice-captain
Shastri said Kohli’s highly successful stint should not be judged on him not having led India to a global title in any format. “Many big players have not won a World Cup. That’s alright. (Sourav) Ganguly, (Rahul) Dravid, (Anil) Kumble also have not won. So can we label them as bad players?
“You can’t generalise. You go and play. How many World Cup winning captains do we have. Sachin Tendulkar had to play six World Cups before winning it.
“At the end of the day, you are judged by how you play, are you an ambassador of the game? Do you play the game with integrity, and do you play for a long period of time? That’s how you judge players at the end of it all.”
Asked who should be the next vice-captain if Rohit is promoted to the captaincy, Shastri said: “That will have to be seen. Rahul Dravid will have to see who’s the right candidate. Because that player needs to be a certainty in the team, that’s very important.
“I often think the vice-captaincy is made into too big an issue by people. Sometimes I think, ‘Why do you even need to announce one (a vice-captain)?’ Go to the ground and see, among those who fit into the XI, who is the most experienced and who can captain, make him the vice-captain.
“If you announce beforehand, then what happens if the player can’t fit into the team? Then there will be a problem, because ‘How can we drop the vice-captain?’ Is there a rule in any coaching manual that you can’t drop a vice-captain? Of course you can drop them. So if you have some doubts like that, don’t announce the vice-captain at all. Say we’ll go there and decide.”
“Rishabh is a tremendous young player. I say it openly, when I was a coach I was very fond of him,” Shastri said. “And he listens too. Many people say that he plays how he wants, but that’s not true. He always has the team’s interest in mind. And I’ve always seen that he reads the game well. You should always keep in mind his leadership qualities for the future.”