It is over now. Ravi Shastri’s stint as India coach had a rocky beginning given the controversial circumstances in which he got the job and it has ended on a low too but between the start and the finish, he helped make India one of the strongest sides in Test cricket.
The Ravi Shastri-Virat Kohli combination worked because both individuals always seemed to be on the same page – they wanted to be aggressive, to win away from home, and do it in a way few other Indian teams have. They managed to do all of that.
But while there was obvious growth in Test cricket, the team seemed to stagnate a bit in white-ball cricket. The method of motivation that seemed to work so well in Tests floundered in the shorter formats. The tactics weren’t great, they failed to find a consistent No 4 in ODIs and experimented at the wrong moments.
So when one looks at Shastri’s stint minus the hyperboles, the first realisation is that there was more good than bad. India may not have become one of the greatest teams ever as Shastri would have many believe but they certainly took steps in the right direction.
The big plus was obviously the series win in Australia. Under Shastri’s guidance, India scripted history by becoming the first Asian team to beat Australia in a Test series in their own backyard in 2018/19.
There was talk, however, that India won because Steve Smith and David Warner were missing. So they repeated the feat for good measure in 2020/21. Though Kohli was not around for the full duration of the tour, Shastri and his stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane guided the team admirably in the absence of the regular skipper, as India defeated Australia to clinch the Border-Gavaskar Trophy for the second successive time.
India also made the final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship final, however Kohli and Co lost the one-off title clash by eight wickets as New Zealand were crowned champions.
The performances, not just at home but away as well, saw India hold on to the number one ranking in the world for 42 months from 2016 to 2020.
India also reached the ODI World Cup semi-final in 2019. They looked like strong favourites at the end of the group stage and had even topped the points table. However, the Men in Blue faced a heartbreaking defeat against New Zealand in the semi-final to bow out of the tournament.
Shastri had initially become the director of the Indian cricket team in 2014 for a period of eight months from India’s tour of England till the 2015 World Cup, alongside Duncan Fletcher. He then had sole responsibility till 2016 and at the 2016 World T20 saw India reach semifinals again. The also has briefly held the No 1 rank in Tests around February 2016. Shastri was removed in 2016 when Anil Kumble took over but on July 13, 2017, he was appointed officially the head coach of the Indian team, reuniting with Kohli to forge a vibrant partnership.
Shastri’s record and a selection of other India head coaches
Tests: 52; Won: 21.
ODIs: 130; Won: 68.
Tests: 18; Won: 7.
ODIs: 62; Won: 32.
T20Is: 1; Won 1.
Tests: 33; Won: 16.
ODIs: 93; Won: 59.
T20Is: 18; Won: 9.
Tests: 39; Won: 13.
ODIs: 108; Won: 65.
T20Is: 25; Won: 15.
Tests: 17; Won: 12.
ODIs: 19; Won: 13.
T20Is: 5, Won: 2; NR: 1.
Ravi Shastri (as head coach since July 2017):
Tests: 43 matches, 25 wins— ESPNCricinfo Statsguru and Scroll.in research
ODIs: 76 matches, 51 wins
T20Is: 65 matches, 42 wins
Record across formats
Test series under Shastri as head coach
|Season / Series||Start Date||Matches||Result|
|2017-2018 Sri Lanka v. India||26/07/2017||3||India 3-0|
|2017-2018 India v. Sri Lanka||16/11/2017||3||India 1-0|
|2017-2018 South Africa v. India||05/01/2018||3||South Africa 2-1|
|2017-2018 India v. Afghanistan||14/06/2018||1||India 1-0|
|2018 England v. India||01/08/2018||5||England 4-1|
|2018-2019 India v. West Indies||04/10/2018||2||India 2-0|
|2018-2019 Australia v. India||06/12/2018||4||India 2-1|
|2019-2020 West Indies v. India||22/08/2019||2||India 2-0|
|2019-2020 India v. South Africa||02/10/2019||3||India 3-0|
|2019-2020 India v. Bangladesh||14/11/2019||2||India 2-0|
|2019-2020 New Zealand v. India||21/02/2020||2||New Zealand 2-0|
|2020-2021 Australia v. India||17/12/2020||4||India 2-1|
|2020-2021 India v. England||05/02/2021||4||India 3-1|
|2021 ICC Test Championship||08/06/2021||1||NZ won the title|
|2021 England v. India||04/08/2021||4||In Progress|
ODI series under Shastri as head coach
|2017-2018 Sri Lanka v. India||20/08/2017||5||India 5-0|
|2017-2018 India v. Australia||17/09/2017||5||India 4-1|
|2017-2018 India v. New Zealand||22/10/2017||3||India 2-1|
|2017-2018 India v. Sri Lanka||10/12/2017||3||India 2-1|
|2017-2018 South Africa v. India||01/02/2018||6||India 5-1|
|2018 England v. India||12/07/2018||3||England 2-1|
|2018-2019 India v. West Indies||21/10/2018||5||India 3-1|
|2018-2019 Australia v. India||12/01/2019||3||India 2-1|
|2018-2019 New Zealand v. India||23/01/2019||5||India 4-1|
|2018-2019 India v. Australia||02/03/2019||5||Australia 3-2|
|2019 ICC ODI World Cup||30/05/2019||48||India reached semi-finals|
|2019-2020 West Indies v. India||08/08/2019||3||India 2-0|
|2019-2020 India v. West Indies||15/12/2019||3||India 2-1|
|2019-2020 India v. Australia||14/01/2020||3||India 2-1|
|2019-2020 New Zealand v. India||05/02/2020||3||New Zealand 3-0|
|2019-2020 India v. South Africa||12/03/2020||2||Drawn 0-0|
|2020-2021 Australia v. India||27/11/2020||3||Australia 2-1|
|2020-2021 India v. England||23/03/2021||3||India 2-1|
T20I series under Shastri as head coach
|2017-2018 Sri Lanka v. India||06/09/2017||1||India 1-0|
|2017-2018 India v. Australia||07/10/2017||3||Drawn 1-1|
|2017-2018 India v. New Zealand||01/11/2017||3||India 2-1|
|2017-2018 India v. Sri Lanka||20/12/2017||3||India 3-0|
|2017-2018 South Africa v. India||18/02/2018||3||India 2-1|
|2017-2018 Nidahas Twenty20 Tri Series||06/03/2018||7||India|
|2018 Ireland v. India||27/06/2018||2||India 2-0|
|2018 England v. India||03/07/2018||3||India 2-1|
|2018-2019 India v. West Indies||04/11/2018||3||India 3-0|
|2018-2019 Australia v. India||21/11/2018||3||Drawn 1-1|
|2018-2019 New Zealand v. India||06/02/2019||3||New Zealand 2-1|
|2018-2019 India v. Australia||24/02/2019||2||Australia 2-0|
|2019-2020 West Indies v. India||03/08/2019||3||India 3-0|
|2019-2020 India v. South Africa||15/09/2019||3||Drawn 1-1|
|2019-2020 India v. Bangladesh||03/11/2019||3||India 2-1|
|2019-2020 India v. West Indies||06/12/2019||3||India 2-1|
|2019-2020 India v. Sri Lanka||05/01/2020||3||India 2-0|
|2019-2020 New Zealand v. India||24/01/2020||5||India 5-0|
|2020-2021 Australia v. India||04/12/2020||3||India 2-1|
|2020-2021 India v. England||12/03/2021||5||India 3-2|
|2021 ICC T20 World Cup||17/10/2021||42||India out in Super 12|
Stats: ESPNCricinfo, Howstat and Scroll.in research
Inputs from PTI