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Ravi Shastri given Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar as examples to defend Virat Kohli’s captaincy decision.

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Ravi Shastri has backed Virat Kohli‘s decision to give up the captaincy of India’s T20I squad and gave examples of other greats who did the same thing during their careers.

India’s former coach, Shashtri, worked alongside Kohli, leading the team to multiple victories with the team playing some of their best cricket while he was in charge.

Shashtri explained that it is understandable to question Kohli’s decisions, but said the 33-year-old should be proud of what he has achieved during his tenure as captain.

He insisted that Kohli is a “tactically sound captain”, and extremely efficient, who has matured and evolved well as a player and as a captain over the years. He went on to say that people will always judge a player based on the kind of results they helped their team to, and not on the basis of the runs they scored or how they got those runs.

Shastri backed Kohli’s decision to step down from his role, adding that former India greats, Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, did the same to get the most out of their careers.

Both players were able to focus more on their batting after giving up their captaincy responsibilities, and Shashtri is confident the same will help Kohli too.

Shastri said.

“I remember Sunny (Gavaskar) giving up [captaincy] to concentrate on his batting; Sachin Tendulkar did the same to prolong his career,”

Kohli was India’s second most successful T20I coach after MS Dhoni, leading the team to 30 wins and 16 losses in 50 games. Kohli’s final game as captain was India’s final T20I World Cup final against Namibia, which the Men in Blue won by nine innings.

The T20I World Cup was Kohli’s last as captain, and a lack of trophies in the shorter format of the game has seen his credentials questioned, but Shastri is adamant that he has nothing to be ashamed of.

The tournament also saw Shastri step down as the head coach of the Indian cricket team. He admitted that the decision to step down was taken while the team were touring England. Shastri explained that they had been on the road for nearly two years and he needed to spend time with his family.

Reports have claimed that Kohli might also be removed from his post as India’s ODI captain, but he will be leading the team in the upcoming Test series against South Africa, which is due to start on December 26.

Rohit Sharma was announced as Vice-Captain for the tour, and reports have claimed that he could be appointed as the new ODI captain instead of Kohli, but an official decision is yet to be taken.

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