‘Big Picture is Australia’: Ravi Shastri Advices Virat Kohli to Replicate Sachin Tendulkar’s 25 Year Old Strategy

Edited By: Aditya Maheshwari

Last Updated: January 19, 2023, 6:59 PM IST

Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri (AFP Image)

Ravi Shastri suggested that Kohli should skip the third ODI and participate in the Ranji Trophy match to gain some confidence for Australia Tests.

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri advised Virat Kohli to play a first-class game ahead of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia next month. The batting maverick has regained form in white-ball cricket but he has struggled to score big in Tests. His last Test century came way back in 2019 which is a worrying sign for India as the upcoming series against Australia is crucial for the hosts to seal a place in the World Test Championship.

Shastri, who is once again donning the commentator’s hat for the ongoing ODI series against New Zealand, suggested that Kohli should skip the third ODI and participate in the Ranji Trophy match to gain some confidence for Australia Tests.

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“I’ve always believed you play more first-class cricket, especially when you are going to play a lot in India. Just feel top players don’t play enough first-class cricket. There’s a lot of cricket around, you might not want to take the risk. But at times you’ve got to be smart and sacrifice certain games looking at the bigger picture. And the big picture is Australia,” said Shastri on-air.

Kohli started 2023 on a high with two centuries against Sri Lanka in the three-match ODI series. The batting maestro took a break last year before Asia Cup which worked in his favour as regained his form and ended up becoming the leading run-getter in T20 World Cup. He continues his purple patch in the ODI format too but he struggled against Bangladesh in the two-match Test series.

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Shastri recalled that batting great Sachin Tendulkar also tried the same 25 years ago when he decided to play a domestic game ahead of the Australia series which did wonders for him.

“25 years ago Sachin Tendulkar went to play in CCI against a Australian team and got a double hundred. Two months later in 1998 he had above 1000 runs against Australia in all formats. He got a terrific double hundred and Australia knew that they didn’t get that man early the writing was on the wall,” Shastri said.

The BCCI has already announced the squad for the first two Tests against Australia as Jasprit Bumrah failed to get a place in the side as he still recovering from a back injury. While Rohit Sharma will lead the team for the first time against Australia in Tests.

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