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Interview: "India lack a genuine all rounder" - Ravi Shastri

Aditya Jha
ANALYST
Exclusive
2.91K   //    09 May 2014, 16:05 IST

Ravi Shastri

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the evergreen Ravi Shastri (courtesy of Vodafone’s Super Fan contest).

Ravi Shastri is someone who’s been extremely active with Indian cricket – both on the field and off the field with his duties for the BCCI.

During this short interview, I had the opportunity of asking him a few questions to which he replied very elaborately.

With the rapid changes in international cricket and the hectic schedule of the teams, should the Indian team opt for the strategy of having different set of teams for the 3 different formats?

I don’t think there’s any need for that because MS Dhoni is in total control of the team. If you have a player good for one format and not so, for the other, then that’s a different issue altogether.

Whereas Dhoni has the command over all the formats and so, there’s really no need for that right now.

For the young aspiring cricketing all-rounders out there, why should they become an all rounder ? What are the advantages? Furthermore, you yourself were an all-rounder, was it hard to consistently perform both with the bat and the ball?

See, being an all-rounder, the advantage is that you can fit into any format. An all-rounder is an extremely important part of a line-up for any side, for all formats. See the problem with the Indian team today is that we lack a genuine all rounder – it’s a big handicap.

Personally, I would say that I was at the peak of being an all-rounder for 4 years and then I struggled to keep both departments going. For 4-5 years, both came easy but my problem started when I started opening the batting for India, then it became difficult to continue bowling.

So, basically, at some point of an all-rounder’s career, he would have to decide whether he has to emphasise more on his batting or bowling!

Yes, more so if the all rounder is opening the batting because then the pressure to perform with the bat is much greater.

What is the reason behind your charismatic and dynamic personality? How have you maintained your fitness through these years, especially post retiring?

*Laughs* I do a lot of walking and drink a lot of water. Best part after playing cricket is covering cricket and doing live-stuff on the cricket field (commentary job) – it keeps my fitness going and keeps me stay in touch with the game. This keeps me busy and helps me stay fit.

So that concluded the short interview I had with Ravi Shastri, explaining the obstacles of an all-rounder’s career and why it’s important for an all-rounder to know his strength areas.

Adding to Ravi Shastri’s point of views, India has indeed had issues with regard to finding a genuine all rounder. Ravindra Jadeja has been part of the team for the last 5-6 years but his batting skills have time and again been questioned solely for the reason that he’s a little ‘immature’ when it comes to playing the big shots. He certainly has the talent to be a genuine all rounder, no doubt about that but he has played some very crucial knocks for the team but it’s consistency that he currently lacks.

The point on which we can really discuss upon is - should India opt for different teams for different formats? With the 2015 World Cup less than a year away, what should be India’s strategy going into it? Do you echo Shastri’s views that India’s fine with MS Dhoni as the leader for all the formats or do you have a different view?

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Aditya Jha
ANALYST
My name is Aditya Jha, I’m 17 years old and was born in the steel city of India i.e. Bokaro, Jharkhand. I’ve been brought up in New Delhi NCR and currently residing in Gurgaon. I had a passion for writing since a very young age and have followed the politics of India very closely since the last 5 years. I’ve won several awards for my writing both on the internet and off it too. I’ve also had the privilege of interviewing eminent personalities like Ravi Shastri, Simon Doull, Rocky & Mayur and Christine Ha among others. I’m a passionate debater and take pride in debating issues of social and political significance. Alongside this, I’m a student and reading is a habit that has helped me to better understand the current state of our country and broaden my horizon. I make it an abiding fact to read the newspaper daily and ensure to note down the key headlines. Further, I’m also a Rotarian and have been involved with doing social work for the organization since the last 4 years. I’ve taken several initiatives towards battling with the social issues – be it raising awareness against the use of plastic bags to the polio camps, I’m a proud social worker and intent to continue serving the society in my fullest of the capability.
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