Ravi Shastri, the current head coach of the Indian cricket team is riding high after India’s back to back series wins; first in Australia and then against England; both won after being 1/0 down and booked a ticket for India for the World Test Championship.
Shastri, who always speaks from the heart, said most of the Indian players who were in the bio-secure bubble from August - when players arrived for the IPL in UAE, then went to Australia and back to India for the England series - were brought closer. It showed also how mentally tough the Indian players are, in spite of being bowled out for their lowest total of 36 in Adelaide and to bounce back and beat Australia in their own den. He added that with adversity comes opportunity and in the challenging period of quarantine, all the players showed their true gritty character and he is very proud of them. They are number one in Tests because of the hard yards put by each and every member from the players to the support staff.
When asked about his growth as a coach, Shastri said: "When I got this role, I did not know what would be the end tale in this. I have learnt so much in the last six years, I have not experienced this in the last 35 years. Man management is of utmost importance and it is also a key as to how you understand human behavior and how different individuals react. How someone reacts to failure and success.”
When he was asked about younger players surpassing expectations, he said he could relate to it, as he had similar success. “One quality which comes with the young guys that you can never take away (is) the exuberance of youth and fearlessness as when you are young you don't carry an excess baggage, you are not afraid.”
At the age of 23, Shastri had become an overnight star. On March 10, thirty-six years ago, India had won the Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket and Shastri had won the Player of the series award, an Audi car. I can still recall that historic evening after India had beaten Pakistan in the finals, and when he got the Audi car, players sitting on the bonnet of the car and taking a ride. No wonder that award was called the Champion of Champions Award. Shastri truly deserved it for his grit and determination.