India head coach Ravi Shastri on Thursday gave a tongue-in-cheek reply to former Australia cricketer Kerry O’Keefe’s jibe at Mayank Agarwal and the standard of Ranji Trophy cricket.
Before Agarwal made a solid 76 on debut on day one of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, O’Keeffe had suggested the batsman had scored a triple century in the Ranji Trophy against “canteen staff”.
“Apparently he got the triple against the Railways canteen staff,” O’Keeffe, who is commentating for Fox Cricket, was quoted as saying on air.
After getting a lot of flak on social media for his comments, O’Keeffe issued an apology, saying he had only said that “tongue in cheek”.
Shastri was then called by Fox Cricket to give his views on the cricketing action after day two of the Test, with India in a commanding position.
The India head coach praised Agarwal’s innings and then, with O’Keeffe sitting next to him, provided a fitting reply to his remarks. Here’s what Shastri said, very much tongue in cheek:
“Let’s not take it from [Mayank]. [India] could have easily been three down for 80 and it would have been a different ball game. He dug deep and he’s got a message for Kerry – when you do open your canteen, he wants to come and smell the coffee. And he wants to compare it to the ones back home in India. Is the coffee better here in your canteen, or the one back home?”
O’Keeffe took the reply well and laughed, as did former Australia spinner Shane Warne, who was also on the panel. “It’s a fair reply, Ravi,” said O’Keeffe, laughing. “You’ve been sitting on it all day.”
Earlier, India declared their innings at 443/7 late in the final session of day two. Australia were 8/0 in six overs at stumps.