Virat Kohli has been going through a lean patch in his cricketing career. The former Indian skipper has not scored a century across formats in close to three years. His struggles with the bat became worse in the Indian Premier League (IPL) where the batter averaged 22.73 in 16 games for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
These struggles of Kohli sparked a debate around what’s troubling the batter. He was also advised to take a break by the former Indian coach Ravi Shastri which Kohli eventually did after IPL 2022. While everyone agreed with Shastri on Kohli needing a break, the former Pakistan spinner has completely different views. Rashid Latif has not only disagreed with the former India cricketer but has also blamed him for Kohli’s struggles.
While speaking on the YouTube channel ‘Caught Behind’, Latif held Shastri accountable for Kohli’s loss of form. “It is because of him (Ravi Shastri) that this has happened,” Rashid Latif said when asked about his reaction to Shastri’s advice (of taking rest) to Virat Kohli. The former Pakistan cricketer further questioned Shastri’s appointment as India’s head coach.
“In 2019, you sidelined a player like Kumble and in came Ravi Shastri. Whether he had the accreditation or not, I have no idea. He was a broadcaster. Had no business in coaching. Barring Virat Kohli, I am sure there would have been other people who played a role in getting Shastri in. But that is backfiring now, isn’t it? Had he (Shastri) not become the coach, he (Kohli) wouldn’t have gone out (of form),” Rashid Latif added.
Notably, Ravi Shastri was the director of the Indian cricket team for a period of two years starting in 2014. He then took over the head coach role after Anil Kumble resigned from the post in 2017.
Although India did not win an ICC trophy during Shastri’s stint, the team made remarkable progress in terms of overseas performances. India’s consecutive win against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar trophy is counted among Shastri’s top achievements as head coach.