Former Cricket Advisory Committee(CAC) member Anshuman Gaekwad has revealed the reason Ravi Shastri was re-appointed for the all important position of Team India head coach: he was a commentator.
“See, Ravi had an advantage among the others who were in fray for the coaching job. Myself, Kapil Dev and Shantha… we did the selection. He was in touch with cricket by virtue of being a commentator. He had seen cricket and not only of one country but world cricket from a very close quarter. He knew exactly how things go about – winning or losing. He knew how matches and situations turn around. What one does to do it? He was in touch and knew the Indian players well and players knew him well. What else do you want?" Gaikwad told Hindustan Times.
Shastri was named team india’s ‘Director of Cricket’ back in 2014. He played a key role in India doing well in the limited overs series in England that very same year. The team also drew with Australia in their own backyard. The 59-year-old left the side after 2016 T20 World Cup where India lost the semi-final to West Indies. He returned after 2017 Champions Trophy fiasco-where India lost to Pakistan in the final amid the reports of a tussle between captain Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble. It was here that CAC reappointed him.
Shastri, who hit sixes in an over long before Yuvraj Singh, had a claim to fame in TV commentary as well. His cliched terms are fondly remembered by cricket fans to this day. He went onto commentate in almost every other India match and was very well-versed with the players. Gaekwad added that this was an added advantage which went in his favour.
Meanwhile Gaekwad also said people blame coach and captain for team’s failures. Instead, they should have a close look at the coach and the set of players available in the team.
“It’s not only coach and captain. That’s a wrong concept people have. It’s the coach and the team. A captain alone can’t do anything. He needs another 10 to do it. Similarly, coach and captain can’t do everything. That has been my experience. I had the best of the guys - Tendulkar, Azharuddin, Laxman, Sourav, Rahul. What else do you want? And in the bowling, Anil, Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad, and it worked."