Ravi Shastri opens up about his role in the Indian cricket team
What's the story?
Former Indian cricketer Ravi Shastri has had an extremely successful maiden series as the head coach of the Indian cricket team. The Indian team whitewashed Sri Lanka 3-0 in the longest format of the game and will now look to replicate the same in the limited-overs arena.
Ever since his appointment was made official, the 55-year-old has always maintained that the captain is the boss of the team. Talking about the same, he said, "I've always maintained this, not just now but even in my earlier stint that this is Virat's team. Prior to when he took over as captain, it was MS Dhoni's bunch and he nurtured some of the boys who've prospered today."
He also believes that the captain is the one who gets to call the shots in the squad, while the responsibility of a coach is to maintain a strong sense of belief and understanding within the team.
"The captain is the leader of the pack and the coach is an extension of that role, in the sense that it's the coach's responsibility to ensure that everything is in order for the team and its skipper to go and give their best. These are the principles I followed in my previous stint too. Irrespective of how much I or anyone else may contribute, eventually it is the captain who walks out with the eleven when it matters.
Too much importance is given to other things, which is unnecessary. What matters is whether there's confidence and trust between all the individuals and that is my responsibility, to ensure there's enough of it," he said in his exclusive interview with Times of India.
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Shastri was appointed as the coach of the team right before the Sri Lanka series, in a long-drawn selection process that created a lot of noise within the country.
His selection was preceded by Anil Kumble's resignation from the position. The man stepped down citing 'untenable relations' with captain Kohli, sparking a fair bit of outrage over his resignation.
Shastri was quick to praise his players for the dominant Indian performance in the three test matches. He showered plaudits on debutant Hardik Pandya, wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha and the entire bowling unit, which held its own throughout the length of the series.
He added that while winning and losing is a part of the sport, consistent effort and discipline on the field is what matters the most.
India will now play three back-to-back limited overs series in the next few months. Their ODI series against Sri Lanka will commence on August 20. They will host Australia and New Zealand for two consecutive limited-over series after that.
Shastri will play a vital role in assisting Kohli with the playing combination for all the games.
Shastri's approach works for Kohli and the rest of the team, and that makes it a winner for now. However, sterner tests are soon to follow, and the captain and the coach will have to put their heads together to overcome them successfully.
An tour of South Africa is scheduled for January next year, which will be followed by tougher overseas challenges. The ICC World Cup 2019 is also not far away, and Shastri needs to ensure that he helps Kohli to be ready for the biggest tournament of his still nascent captaincy career.