Lauding the skipper for leading from the front and setting the standards high for others to follow, head coach Ravi Shastri believes Virat Kohli is the ‘real boss’ of the Indian cricket team who pushes the envelope every single time he steps out on the field. Shastri also welcomed the unplanned break amid the Coronavirus pandemic which has brought standstill the world of sports with international and domestic fixtures being put on hold.

“The captain is the boss, I always believe that,” Shastri said on the Sky Sports Podcast, responding to a question from Nasser Hussain. “The job of the coaching staff is to prepare the guys in the best possible way to get out there and play positive, brave, fearless cricket.

“The captain leads from the front. Yes, we are there to take off the burden — he’s not going to each player and talking to them, that’s my job; if you’ve got to pull someone up — but you leave him to do his job in the middle.

“The captain sets the tone and is encouraged to set the tone. In the middle, he controls the show. No coach in the world can do that,” he added.

Shastri also credited Kohli for raising the bar to the next level in terms of fitness and fielding standards.

“When you talk about fitness, the leadership comes from the top and it came from Virat,” he said. “He is not a guy to mess around. He woke up one morning and said ‘if I want to play this game, I want to be the fittest player in the world and compete against the best in all conditions’ and he let his body go through one hell of a lot.”

According to the head coach, when a player like Kohli sets such high standards, it rubs off on others.

“It was not just the training but the sacrifices he made with his diet, the way he looked at life. I could see that change happening all the time … When he sets those standards, it rubs off on others,” he added.

Currently, Team India is on a forced break due to the lockdown imposed in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.