Thursday, 21 October, 2021

Ravi Shastri hints stepping down as India head coach after T20 World Cup

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 18th September, 2021 02:24:14 PM
  • Print news


Ravi Shastri more or less confirmed that he is likely to step down as India head coach after the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman in October-November this year. Shastri's hint comes a couple of days after Virat Kohli announced that would no longer continue as India's T20I captain after the ICC event.

“I believe so because I’ve achieved all I wanted,” Shastri, a decorated former India all-rounder, told The Guardian when asked whether the upcoming T20 World Cup would be his last assignment as the head coach of the Indian cricket team.

Shastri, who had a couple stints as a Team Director with the Indian side before taking charge as head coach after the Champions Trophy in 2017 as things went sour between then head coach Anil Kumble and captain Kohli, said he is satisfied with what the team has achieved during his close to five-year tenure.

 “Five years as No 1 [in Test cricket], to win in Australia twice, to win in England. I spoke to Michael Atherton earlier this summer and said: ‘For me, this is the ultimate – to beat Australia in Australia and win in England in Covid times.’ We lead England 2-1 and the way we played at Lord’s and the Oval was special,” Shastri said.

India achieved their first Test series win in Australia under Shastri's tenure in 2018-19. They backed that up with another stunning victory in Australia despite injuries to most of their key players in 2020-21.

Highlighting the double series victories in Australia and the possible win in England (the fifth Test was cancelled with India leading 2-1), Shastri said one should never overstay their welcome.

"We’ve also beaten every country in the world in their own backyard in white-ball cricket. If we win the [T20] World Cup that will be the icing on the cake. There is nothing more. I believe one thing – never overstay your welcome. And I would say that, in terms of what I wanted to get out of the side, I’ve over-achieved. To beat Australia away and to lead the series in England in a Covid year? It is the most satisfying moment of my four decades in cricket,” he added.

Shastri also added that coaching an Indian cricket is almost like coaching the football team in Brazil or England. There is always pressure to win and deliver.

“They’re not bothered if there is Covid or not. They just want you to win, and score runs,” Shastri says of cricketing fervour in India. “You know, being the coach of India is like being the football coach of Brazil or England. There’s always this gun pointing at you. Always. You might have six great months and then you get out for 36 and they will shoot you. Then you have to win immediately. Otherwise they will eat into you, right through. You need a hide like mine, absolutely like leather, so it doesn’t make a difference,” he said.

Meanwhile, reports also suggested that BCCI have thought of approaching former captain Anil Kumble and batsman VVS Laxman to apply for the head coach's position once Shastri's contract ends at the completion of the T20 World Cup. 

Source: Hindustan Times