Former India fielding coach R Sridhar recounted in his book ‘Coaching Beyond – My Days with the Indian Cricket Team’ how Virat Kohli was keen to take over India’s white-ball captaincy in 2016.
MS Dhoni is the only player in history to have won all three major ICC limited-overs titles as a captain: the ODI World Cup, the T20 World Cup, and the Champions Trophy.
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It is no secret that Virat Kohli admires former India captain MS Dhoni. When Dhoni was a member of the Indian team, their comradery used to be the talk of the town quite frequently. After making his international debut in 2008 when Dhoni served as captain, Kohli went on to skipper Team India.
In 2014, after deciding to stop playing the longest version of the game, Dhoni handed Kohli the Test captaincy. R Sridhar, a former India fielding coach, noted that Kohli had expressed a strong desire to lead the team in white-ball matches as well.
“There was a time in 2016 when Virat was very eager to be the captain of the white-ball team too. He said a few things that showed he was looking for the captaincy,” Sridhar revealed the detail in his new book, ‘Coaching Beyond- My days with the Indian cricket team’, which is written by R Kaushik.
“You have to respect MS Dhoni”: Ravi Shastri advised Virat Kohli
Sridhar also disclosed how then-India head coach Ravi Shastri stepped in and instructed Kohli to wait for Dhoni to hand him the white-ball mantle.
“One evening, Ravi called him and said, ‘Look, Virat, MS gave it (the captaincy) to you in red-ball cricket. You have to respect him. He will give it to you in limited-overs cricket, too, when the time is right” R Sridhar said.
“Unless you respect him now, tomorrow when you are the captain, you won’t get respect from your team. Respect him now, irrespective of what is going on. It will come to you, you don’t have to run behind it,” R Sridhar added.
In 2017, Virat Kohli became India’s full-time captain for all three formats, and he turned the squad into a formidable opponent both at home and away. Kohli led India to remarkable series triumphs in Australia, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies, among other places, despite the team’s failure to win a significant ICC trophy during his captaincy.