The Indian team is currently busy playing the three-match ODI series against New Zealand. The first ODI match has been played between the two countries in which India won by 12 runs. Now the second ODI between the two nations will be commencing in Raipur on January 21. Ahead of the second ODI, India’s former head coach Ravi Shastri has come up with an important suggestion to Virat Kohli.
Ravi Shastri said that Virat should play the upcoming Ranji Trophy for Delhi match instead of playing the last ODI of the series so that he can gain confidence for batting against the red- ball ahead of the much-awaited Test series against Australia.
Virat Kohli has got back his form in white-ball cricket, but he has not been able to play big innings in Test matches for a long time. His last Test century came against Bangladesh in the year 2019. Virat Kohli also participated in the recent two-match Test series against Bangladesh where he only managed to score 45 runs with the bat.
Ravi Shastri said during the commentary, “I have always believed that you should play more first-class cricket, especially when you are going to play a lot in India. I feel top players don’t play enough first-class cricket. There’s a lot of cricket around, you don’t want to take risks. But, sometimes you have to be clever and sacrifice some matches while looking at the bigger picture.”
He further explained, “At the moment the big picture is Australia. I think Virat Kohli should not play the third ODI against New Zealand and play Ranji matches to prepare for the Border Gavaskar series. Let us tell you that the third ODI match between India and New Zealand is to be held on 24 January.”
On the same day of the third ODI, the Delhi team will be playing in the Ranji Trophy match against Hyderabad. Shastri cited the example of Sachin Tendulkar who had decided to play a home match before the Australia series in a similar manner 25 years ago.
Ravi Shastri recalled, “25 years ago Sachin Tendulkar went to play in CCI against an Australian team and scored a double century. Two months later in 1998, he scored above 1000 runs in all formats against Australia. He scored a brilliant double-century and Australia knew that he would not be able to get this player out quickly.”