Shastri was named by Virat Kohli as the first choice for the position of head coach after Kumble left. It was said that the players were uncomfortable with the strict nature of Kumble and hence wanted Shastri to take over.
"I wouldn’t say that I am the most desired coach. That is for the players to say. All I’ll say is that I like to keep things simple. I am a big switch on and switch off person. I’m a huge guy when it comes to work ethics and values.
As far as the team is concerned, the trust factor that exists in the dressing room, the camaraderie between the players and the support staff, like Virat has mentioned, there is no senior or junior in the team because everyone’s a team player and everyone has to contribute." Shastri said talking to BCCI.tv about what makes him desirable among the Indian team members.
Talking about his own approach towards the role, Shastri said he likes to call spade a spade, "For me - what you see is what you’ll get. I always like to call a spade a spade and people who have played with me know me fully well.
People who played under me when I was a Captain they know what to expect from me and same is the case with this team. The good thing with this team is, I’ve spent 18 months with them as the Director of the team when they were actually evolving. When I took over in England with the same support staff, it was a different team.
Today it is a much more seasoned team. The guys have grown in the past two and a half years and it is for everyone to see when they play out in the middle."
Shastri also added that it was important in a team that every member knows his role and feels comfortable performing it,
I have always said that in a team game if you don’t know what your role is, and when I say team, look at it in any walk of life, why just the cricket field. If a person is designated a role and you will see different roles for different people in a team, if they do their roles to the best of their ability, you will see the team performing wonderfully well.
But if a person doesn’t know his role, then there is no clarity of thought. There is confusion and you can’t get the best out of that man’s ability. Designating a role and helping him make sure that he does the job well; that is our job. Making him feel relaxed and in a state of mind where he can go and express himself without any fear. That is the role of the support staff.
He concluded by saying that he is on the same page as captain Kohli when it comes to hard work and excellence, and that it is seen in the way this team performs.
"I think that helps. It makes communication so much easier because when the mindset is similar and you are on the same page, then that reflects in the way that you will see the other players reacting. When you see this Indian Cricket Team on the field, you feel like watching them play.
There is energy, there is camaraderie, an element of sharing, an element of happiness in anyone’s success. There is great disappointment if they don’t play to their potential, which is very important.
It’s a great game. It will give you a lot of happiness and at the same time bring you down to earth. That’s the beauty of sport. But, then how you get up as a team and not as an individual, that is what will define this Indian Cricket Team and that is what our endeavor is - to have a great relationship.
The Captain will always be the boss of the team. I have under me a fantastic support staff who’ve been with me right from day one when I became the Director of the team and today I’m the Head Coach of the team. And there is a certain element of bonding and trust when it comes to the players dealing with the support staff and our job is making them feel relaxed and make them feel that they are in a great mental space." Shastri said, while signing off.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur.
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (capt), Lasith Malinga, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dilshan Munaweera, Lahiru Thirimanna, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana, Malinda Pushpakumara, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Thisara Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando.
First Published: September 3, 2017, 8:44 AM IST