Ravi Shastri’s strong remark on Indian coaches taking breaks seems to have taken the centre stage. Following their exit from the T20 World Cup 2022, India were scheduled to travel to New Zealand for a bilateral series comprising 3 T20Is and as many One-Day Internationals. But the senior players, including Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, and the coaching staff were given rest. In their absence, Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan were named stand-in captains for the T20Is and ODIs, respectively whereas NCA chief VVS Laxman was roped in as the head coach.
Ahead of the series, Shastri addressed a virtual presser organised by Amazon Prime Video in which he was asked about coaches taking breaks – something which was never seen or heard of during his stint with the Indian team.
In reply, Shastri strongly opposed this concept and said, “I do not believe in breaks. Because I want to understand my team, I want to understand my players and I want to be in control of that team. These breaks… why do you need that many breaks, to be honest? You get your 2-3 months of the IPL, that’s enough for you to rest as a coach. But other times, I think a coach should be hands-on, whoever he is.”
Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin, one of the players to be rested after the World Cup, came in Dravid’s support, explaining why not just players but also the support staff needed a break after the showpiece event Down Under.
“I will explain why Laxman has gone there with a completely different team because even that could be interpreted differently. Rahul Dravid and his team put in extensive hard work ahead of the T20 World Cup, right from planning, since I saw this from close quarters, I’m saying this. They had specific in-depth plans for each venue and each opposition,” Ashwin said in his latest YouTube video.
“So, they would have been under not only mental but also physical burnout and everyone needed a break. As soon as the New Zealand series ends, we have the Bangladesh tour. That’s why we have a different coaching staff led by Laxman for this tour,” he added.