On Monday (November 8), Virat Kohli played his last T20I as India’s captain against Namibia, as India exited the T20 World Cup on a strong note. The game was emotional for the Men In Blue for a variety of reasons. This was cricket news that had a mixed reaction from the fans.
It was also head coach Ravi Shastri’s, bowling coach Bharat Arun’s and fielding coach R Sridhar’s last game. Their contract expired after the conclusion of the World Cup and they elected not to extend it for a variety of reasons. Though the cricket match was in India’s favour, the overall tournament didn’t go too well.
Shastri, on the other hand, was ineligible owing to his age and had other possibilities after quitting the top post. The cricketing community praised him for his contributions as India’s head coach since 2017, at which time the squad performed well across the world. The likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli developed a particular bond with Shastri, who was regarded as the ideal guy within the team’s dressing room.
What was the gift from both the skipper and the vice-captain of the Indian cricket team?
It’s little surprise that both captain and vice-captain were taken aback when the 59-year-old left the changing room for the last time following the Namibia game. For the same reason, Kohli and Rohit both gave their respective bats to Ravi Shastri, providing him with a fitting send-off. The image of Shastri with two bats in his hands is becoming popular on social media.
Team India won their last T20 World Cup game handily, defeating Namibia by nine wickets in Dubai while chasing 133 runs. After the game, Virat Kohli heaped respect on the departing trio of coaching staff, while also adding that players were always eager to return to the dressing room. He also expressed gratitude for their contributions in their respective domains.
What did Virat Kohli say at the end of it all, pays respects to the exiting coaches
“Many thanks to all of you (Ravi Shastri and his support staff). They’ve done an excellent job throughout the years in establishing such a welcoming atmosphere for the players. People were eager to return to the environment. They did a fantastic job,” Kohli remarked at the post-match presentation.
Indian cricket fans’ hearts warmed on Monday as Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli enjoyed a “wholesome” embrace after India’s victory over Namibia in the final Super 12 match of the 2017 T20 World Cup. Despite their victory, the ‘Men in Blue’ were eliminated from the competition, finishing third in Group 2.
The tournament also signalled the conclusion of Shastri’s term as Team India’s head coach, as well as Kohli’s time as T20I captain. Kohli has previously said that he will stand down as captain after the T20 World Cup but would continue to lead the ODI and Test squads. Shastri will be replaced by Rahul Dravid, who will take command of the home series against New Zealand beginning on November 17.
The importance of Kohli and Shastri’s embrace was enormous, given the Indian team’s numerous accomplishments over the last several years. The two are believed to be incredibly close and have created a solid alliance that has propelled Indian cricket to new heights over the previous four years.
What next for the Indian cricket team and the fans?
The Indian team will now be facing off against the Kiwis in a T20 series. Virat Kohli will not be part of these matches and Rohit Sharma will be the skipper. This will be a major change within the Indian team after such a long time, with King Kohli finally taking a backseat.
It is still not certain that Team India will be on top of the game. However, this will be a welcome change with the nation looking for more inspiration in the captaincy department and some of the upcoming youngsters getting a chance to prove their worth.
It will be an interesting series and the timing is great too. New Zealand is in the final of the T20 World Cup, where they face Australia. They will want to win the competition and then carry that form forward into the series against India. Just like the Indian team, a few players might be rested by the Kiwis as well. Let’s wait and watch!!