Bengaluru: Indian cricket team’s head coach Ravi Shastri has said captain Virat Kohli is the “boss” of the side and the coaches prepare the team to play “brave, positive and fearless cricket”.

In an interview to Sky Sports, Shastri heaped praise on Kohli. Under Kohli’s leadership, India have moved to the top of the ICC Test Rankings and they are also on top of the ICC World Test Championship.

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Interviewed by former England captains Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain, and also former English batsman Rob Key, Shastri spoke about who controls the Indian team.

“The captain is the boss, I always believe that. The job of the coaching staff, as far as I'm concerned, is to prepare the guys in the best possible way to be able to go out there and play brave, positive, fearless cricket,” Shastri, who replaced Anil Kumble as the team’s head coach in 2017, said.

“The captain leads from the front. Yes, we are there to take off the burden 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,” he added.

The coach lauded Kohli’s fitness regime and said, “he is not a guy to mess around”.

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“When you talk about fitness, the leadership came from the top and that is Virat. 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,” the former India all-rounder said.

With India under a 21-day lockdown due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, all cricket matches have been suspended in the country. IPL 2020 has been deferred till April 15.