Virat Kohli. (Source: Twitter)

Former India coach Ravi Shastri thinks Virat Kohli has taken a “smart decision” by giving up captaincy from all forms.

“I think this (giving up captaincy) could be a blessing in disguise, to be honest. The pressures of captaincy off his shoulders, the expectations that come with being captain no longer there, he can go out, express himself, play freely, and I think he’ll look to do just that,” Shastri said.

“I think he has taken a smart decision of relinquishing captaincy. I would have still preferred if he stayed on as India’s red-ball captain but that’s his personal choice,” Shastri was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.com.

“I think the most important thing is not to worry about his own performances, because he’s done enough in world cricket for people to know where he stands. “It’s about him wanting to enjoy himself out there. I think that is the key. It’s mind over matter, it’s a case of telling yourself, ‘I want to go there, express myself, and enjoy myself’.”

“It (captaincy) certainly does (have a shelf life). It’s not easy to be captain of a team in all three formats of the game, more so India because it is the most demanding job in the world.“No other team captain faces the kind of pressure than the Indian team captain faces and that is simply because of the expectations of the billion people. Expectations are huge. “And especially as a captain if you set standards like Virat Kohli has, people expect you to win every game but that’s never going to happen. Even the greatest of team will have an off season, will have a period where nothing fires and the pressure will built,” Shastri said.

“That depends on the balance of the team. I don’t know what their middle-order is. Just in case they have got a very strong middle-order, there is no harm in Virat opening.”