Team India has had a mixed year so far, but two notable Test series victories have propelled them to the second spot in the ICC Test rankings. With this, team director Ravi Shastri is evidently mighty impressed.
Shastri had to face the bullets when he was accused of instilling aggression into the team. And according to him, the result always has the last say. Virat Kohli has lead India to back-to-back Test series victories against Sri Lanka in the foreign soil and against South Africa at home. Kohli has managed to please the director with his leadership and no wonder he is winning all the accolades.
"The year has ended. The selectors do their job. My job is to look after the way the team plays. Like I said, I'm absolutely proud of the guys, the way they played. Virat was a young kid who took over the rein one year ago. Today, he's shown that he's a leader, after two back-to-back series wins," Shastri was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
"Our job is get runs, take wickets and pick your catches, and put the score line of the series. After that, what people want to say, they are entitled to say. They get paid to talk and write. I always believe let the performance do the talking."
"There's nothing much to say, but the facts are out in the open. Let people decide whether we've had a great year or not. The world can decide what sort of a year we've had. I feel proud of the guys about the way they've performed."
Considering MS Dhoni's impact on the game, one would believe that he might have lost that spark that weaved magic on the field. And India would desperately need that spark during the forthcoming series against Australia in Down Under, the T20 series against Sri Lanka, Asia Cup T20 in Bangladesh and finally in the ICC World T20 2016. Shastri still has a lot of faith in Dhoni and he felt that no one can question his achievements.
"He's a champion player. You never mess around with class, proven talent, players who've done more in that format of the game than anybody else, when it comes to winning titles...there's no one who's won more than him," Shastri added.
Shastri also heaped praise on Ravichandran Ashwin who is currently in the from of his life. He added 31 scalps to his name against South Africa in the Test series and has become a lethal weapon for India. He will be absolutely crucial with his off-spinners in the upcoming series'.
"He has to be given all the credit for the fact that he went back to the basics. He was prepared to put in the hard yards and be patient. There's no doubting the fact that he's a smart cricketer who understands his game. Today, you're seeing that he's undoubtedly the best off-spinner in the world," Shastri said.