Former India head coach Ravi Shastri believes that India Test and ODI captain Virat Kohli could continue to play cricket at the highest level for another 6-7 years. He admitted that while there are plenty of things written about him, Kohli has mastered the art of ignoring them all and if he can continue to live by "ignorance is bliss," he can easily have good years ahead of him.
In a recent interview, Shastri said that it is important for players like Kohli to not focus on what is being said about them and just focus on the job at hand. The 59-year-old also dismissed reports that Kohli no longer commanded the same respect from the Indian dressing room as he once did.
"He deserves his due as a captain, what he has achieved is unreal. What he has got used to is that there will be things written which is just there to stir the pot. A sportsman's ability to ignore all that is what will make him play longer than he thinks. Ignorance is bliss. If he follows that and I think he is doing it, then he will not have a problem to play for another 6-7 years. Planted crap will always be there," Ravi Shastri said in an interview with India Today.
Virat Kohli is an all-time great: Ravi Shastri
Shastri also rated Kohli as an all-time great but said that he should get a break from time to time which could help him in his career.
"No question about that (Kohli is an all-time great). Not many become great players in their lifetime and he became one three years ago. He is enjoying the success. If his body and mind get a break at some stage it will be very good," Shastri added.
"If he wants to take it, he should be man enough to say he doesn't want to play for a month or two and that should be the case with anyone. The board or anyone else should not have any problem with that because it is natural," he further said.
Meanwhile, India's first assignment after the Ravi Shastri era will be the home series against New Zealand where Rahul Dravid is set to take charge as the head coach. Rohit Sharma will be the captain of the T20I series but Virat Kohli will be back at the helm of affairs in Test cricket when he joins the team for the second Test. In his absence, Ajinkya Rahane has been named the captain for the opening Test match.