Former India head coach Ravi Shastri flew to Wellington with fellow commentators for India’s tour of New Zealand, slated to begin on Friday. On the eve of the first T20I clash between the two sides, Shastri reflected on his maiden call-up for India, playing at the same venue against the Kiwis in 1981.
The legendary cricketer reminisced about his debut as a 19-year-old, “41 years ago" in a special message shared on Twitter.
Shastri shared a heartening picture from his dry run in the studio ahead of the first T20I, along with his fellow commentators Harsha Bhogle, Mohammed Kaif, and Zaheer Khan. The 60-year-old was in bliss about returning to Wellington and reflected back on his times of yore making his debut for Team India.
“Getting ready for nets in the studio for the match tomorrow in a windy Wellington where it all started for me 41 years ago. Time flies," Shastri wrote in his caption.
Getting ready for nets in the studio for game tomorrow in windy Wellington where it all started from me 41 years ago. Time flies. With - @bhogleharsha @MohammadKaif & @ImZaheer #NZvIND 🇮🇳🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/5gQHf1jkb9— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) November 17, 2022
Shastri played his maiden Test for India on February 21, 1981.
He came in as a replacement for veteran Dilip Doshi who was ruled out for the series due to an injury. The allrounder impressed everyone as he took three wickets in each of the innings and played a gritty 19-run knock facing fiery fast bowlers on Kiwi soil.
Shastri went on to play for India for the next 11 years, leaving his mark as one of the best allrounders in world cricket. He was also a vital cog of Kapil Dev’s legendary team that secured India’s first-ever World Cup in 1983 trouncing the mighty West Indies in the final.
After suffering heartbreaks in the recently concluded ICC T20 World Cup, India and New Zealand will collide in a bilateral series for three T20Is and as many ODIs. The Indian contingent has reached New Zealand with the first T20I to be played on Friday.
India have rested big names and will rely on young brigade.
In the absence of captain Rohit Sharma, all-rounder Hardik Pandya will lead the side for the three-match T20I series.
Veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan will lead the ODI squad.