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‘Every Replaced Player Came in & Did Well’: Gavaskar Recalls Australia Tour to Highlight Shastri’s Coaching Stint

Gavaskar Recalls Australia Tour to Highlight Shastri’s Coaching Stint

Gavaskar Recalls Australia Tour to Highlight Shastri’s Coaching Stint

Former batting great Sunil Gavaskar mentioned Shastri’s famous words – ‘wear this 36 like a badge’ before heaping praise on his former teammate.

Former batting legend Sunil Gavaskar on Sunday lauded Ravi Shastri for instilling confidence among the Team India youngsters during his stint as head coach. The former captain recalled the historic tour of Australia earlier this year in which the visitors bounced back after the Adelaide debacle and went on to clinch the series 2-1.

Last December, Team India was bowled out for 36 – their lowest total in Test Cricket – in the Adelaide Test. Following the heart-wrenching loss, Kohli returned home on paternity leave while the experts wrote off the team completely. The senior players kept on getting ruled out due to injuries and the management had no option other than incorporating the fringe players for the remainder of the series.

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The trick worked for India as each and every player played his part brilliantly. The visitors went on to win the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, drew the Sydney game and scripted history by defeating the Aussies at their fortress – The Gabba.

Speaking with Star Sports, Gavaskar mentioned Shastri’s famous words – ‘wear this 36 like a badge’ before heaping praise on his former teammate.

“It obviously has got to be the way India bounced back earlier this year after being dismissed for 36 (in Adelaide Pink Ball Test). Because when something like that happens, the team tends to lose belief in itself, there is a sense of disappointment and there is a sense of giving up. And that is where Shastri played a huge role because from what I’ve read, is that he said that ‘you wear this 36 like a badge’.

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“And then Ajinkya Rahane, the way he led the side in the three Tests, and of course everyone stepped up. We played almost like an A team, not even the regular team. But every player who played in that, every replaced player came in and did well. And that again tells you the kind of influence and input that Ravi Shastri had on the younger players and the fringe players who are waiting for their opportunities,” said Gavaskar.

Shastri joined Team India as their head coach after the Champions Trophy final loss to Pakistan in 2017. He was reappointed for the role after the 2019 ODI World Cup.

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first published:December 27, 2021, 09:50 IST