Team India’s exit from the T20 World Cup Super 12 stage marked the end of Ravi Shastri’s tenure as the head coach of the national side. Under Shastri, the team achieved the No.1 ranking in Tests and multiple overseas Test series victories in Australia, as well as some impressive performances in England and South Africa. However, India failed to win a single ICC trophy during Shastri’s reign. As a result, Shastri tenure as head coach has always received mixed reviews.
Following the conclusion of the T20 World Cup, Shastri passed the baton to former India skipper Rahul Dravid, who has arrived at the helm with a lot of expectations.
On being asked to look back at Shastri’s shortcomings as head coach, former India batter Gautam Gambhir criticised him for his statements following India’s major wins in overseas matches.
“The one thing I found surprising is that when you are performing well, you don’t generally boast about it. It’s fine if others talk about it. When we won the World Cup in 2011, no one gave statements that we are the best team in the world, let alone the country,” Gambhir told Times Now Navbharat.
“When you win, let others talk about it. You won (Test series) in Australia, that’s a big achievement no doubt. You performed well in England, no doubt. But let others praise you. Rahul Dravid will never give such statements. Whether the Indian team plays well or not, his statements will always remain balanced. Also, it will reflect on other players,” the cricketer-turned-politician added.
For the record, Shastri had famously labelled India’s Test series victory in Australia (2018-19) “as big, or even bigger” than the 1983 World Cup win.
“Humility is very important, regardless of the results. Cricket won’t go on forever. I think Dravid’s major focus will be on players being good human beings first,” he added.
Dravid’s tenure as head coach began with the three-match T20I series against New Zealand. The team — under newly-appointed T20I captain Rohit Sharma — clean swept the series despite missing players like Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, among others, who have been rested.
After the conclusion of the T20I series, both teams will play two Tests, with Kohli also set to miss the first Test in Kanpur. Ajinkya Rahane will captain the team in the first game before Kohli will resume his duties in the second Test in Mumbai.
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