Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri has showered praises on Virat Kohli and his men for embracing Test cricket and being the “ambassador” of the longest format of the game over the last five years. India regained the top spot in the ICC Rankings by dethroning New Zealand following their 372-run win over the World Test Champions in the series-finale in Mumbai on Monday.
The team has finished as the No. 1-ranked Test team over the last five years under the captaincy of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri credited the players’ love for Test cricket as the reason behind their success in red-ball cricket.
Talking to renowned author, Jeffrey Archer on his podcast, Ravi Shastri said, “I think if any team has been an ambassador for Test match over the last five years, it is this Indian cricket team. Virat worships Test match cricket, as do most of the team, which might surprise the world because of the amount of one-day cricket India plays, then IPL.”
He further added, “If you ask anyone in the team, 99 percent of them would say they love Test match cricket. That’s why, what India has done in the last five years remains as the No. 1 team in the world at the end of every year.”
India’s series win against New Zealand is their third this year after the triumphs in Australia and at home against England earlier in 2021. The Indian team is also leading the unfinished 5-match Test series against England with a 2-1 margin.
Talking about the same, Ravi Shastri said, “We may have lost the one-off WTC final against New Zealand but otherwise We have dominated the format for the last five years. To win two series in Australia, to win the series that was taking place in England, to win everywhere around the world white-ball and red-ball cricket.”
He further elaborated, “To set a benchmark in red-ball cricket, the fast bowlers coming to the fore unheard of from the Indian cricket team it was remarkable. For me the greatest legacy this generation and this lot of players will leave is the way they have played Test cricket and embraced it.”