‘We want you to take over from tomorrow’- How Ravi Shastri became team India’s Director overnight

After receiving 7 missed calls, the former all-rounder was immediately appointed without any 'warning'

Ravi Shastri as team india head coach

Known to the cricketing world as a brash and flamboyant character, Ravi Shastri has been there and done it all. From a cricketing career which lasted a little over a decade to his flashy days as a commentator, Shastri has been an eminent personality in the cricketing world. However, to today’s generation, the 59-year old is most notable as the former head coach of India.

After completing his term as head coach, Shastri has been pretty vocal about his time at the office. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Shastri revealed details behind his sudden appointment in 2014.

“I had no warning. I was commentating at the Oval during India’s [2014] tour of England and came off air to find six or seven missed calls. ‘Seven bloody calls? What’s happened here?’. [The BCCI] just said: ‘We want you to take over, starting tomorrow, at any cost.’ I told them I’d have to speak to my family and commercial partners but they just said they would sort all that out. And like that I was straight in from the commentary box. You’ll see when I joined the setup [during the ODIs], I was still in jeans and loafers. Instantly my job changed,”

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While Shastri’s tenure does not have an ICC trophy, the Indian team boasted a formidable test record overseas from 2017-2021. With series wins in Australia(twice) and England, Shastri along with then captain Virat Kohli transformed the Indian setup.

Following his 2-year stint as director from 2014-2016, Shastri returned to the Com-Box. However, this return would be short-lived as he was roped in again as head coach following Anil Kumble’s resignation.

Shastri was one of the key architects behind the refurbishing of the Indian pace quartet. After being appointed in 2017, he declared that his first plan was to build a strong pace attack.

“We also had slingers [coaches with dogsticks] in the nets smashing the ball in at 160kph from 16 yards. Guys had no choice. There was no dodging, I’d stand behind the stumps to make sure of that. No matter who the person was, he had to go through that.”

“we knew winning in Australia or England wasn’t coming with spin, it was fast bowlers, guys with aggression like Jasprit Bumrah. We were instrumental in making sure that guy played Test cricket. You don’t even need express pace, you just need attitude.”

Also Read: Ravi Shastri tenure as Head Coach- Pass or fail

Shastri’s stint ended on a sour note, with India failing to make it past the group stage at the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup. However, his legacy as Team India’s head coach was indeed a memorable one.

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