Ravi Shastri. (Image Credits: Twitter)
Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri opened up about when he became the men’s team coach and his philosophy for success. The 59-year old also opined on what England Cricket‘s Managing Director Robert Key needs to do to revive their test side’s fortunes.
The England & Wales Cricket Board named former batter Robert Key as the Managing Director of men’s cricket on April 17. Key, who replaces Ashley Giles in a permanent role, has crucial tasks in hand, beginning with appointing the new Test captain and head coach.
Shastri said that as the director of the Indian men’s team, he held complete control over who he wished to keep in the side. More importantly, he stressed on improving the players’ fitness levels, urging them to be aggressive and giving it back to the opposition.
Shastri spoke to The Guardian:
“When I was the director of the team, it was about diagnosing problems: I was asked to hire and fire, whoever I wanted, I could get in and whoever I didn’t could be shown the door. And it was also outlining how we want to play: to be aggressive and ruthless, to up the fitness levels, to get a group of fast bowlers to take 20 wickets overseas. And it was about attitude, especially when playing the Aussies. I told the boys if one single ‘f*ck you’ comes your way, give them three back: two in our language and one in theirs.”
Shastri, a member of India’s 1983 World Cup-winning side, believes Key needs to understand in detail what England’s Test team needs. As a commentator, he thinks the former English batter will have understood where they have gone wrong.
“Rob will have an adjustment period to understand the issues and will need to speak in detail with Joe Root for his experiences as Test captain. But in my 24 years of commentating, I did not miss a beat or a ball of Indian cricket. And he will have covered a huge amount too. So you’re not lagging behind by an inch, you’re abreast of what a team requires but also what other teams are doing.”
With the 59-year old in charge, India transformed into one of the best Test teams of all time, ruthless at home and registering wins overseas. They stayed at the top of the Test rankings for the most part and won five ICC maces.
Key, who has an uphill challenge ahead of him, could take inspiration from the Indian’s achievements.
“If their form is good, play them” – Ravi Shastri on James Anderson and Stuart Broad
James Anderson and Stuart Broad. (Credits: Twitter)
The Mumbai-born former cricketer feels James Anderson and Stuart Broad must play if in form as experience cannot be compromised with. Shastri conceded that teams often lose the plot in the face of building for the future by overlooking experienced men.
“If their form is good, play them. There is no substitute for experience. Test cricket is the purest form of the game and if the guys are fit, hungry, you jolly well look in that direction. Every country makes this mistake, looking too far ahead. It’s too easy to look 100ft away and lose the plot by not backing the guys who have been there and done it.”
The ECB’s interim managing director Andrew Strauss axed Anderson and Broad for the Test series in the West Indies. Nevertheless, he urged the duo to be ready for the upcoming home summer.