Unlike a tracer bullet, after much drama on a Tuesday evening, Ravi Shastri was appointed as team India’s head coach. Known as the man who can wear many hats in the world of cricket- as a commentator, or an administrator or a manager or even a coach, Shastri has performed them with affable ease. But on Tuesday night Shastri added one more feather to his cap as he was announced as the new head coach for the men in blue.
Ever since Shastri had his first stint with team India (team manager) in 2007 he has been known as someone who has always backed his boys and asked them to go out and express themselves. Later that year, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appointed him the head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. Again in 2014, Shastri was appointed team director after India had a disastrous foreign tour to England. But from being a stop-gap ‘cricket manager’ Shastri’s journey to lead the Indian team from the dressing room has been anything but easy. So what got him the top job? We take a look.
Known as an intuitive thinker Shastri is widely known as an individual who is intelligent and always a step ahead of the others. What also stands out is his persona and leadership skills. These qualities were present in Shastri even when he was a player. It is worth noting here that Shastri’s charismatic leadership skills first came to light in the 90’s when he led a lacklustre Mumbai side to a Ranji Trophy win after a gap of nine long years. While he wasn’t the most talented cricketer but what made him stand out was his indomitable spirit and the willingness to fight till the last ball. In his cricketing career, Shastri had represented India in 80 Tests and 150 ODIs and performed well as an all-rounder.
Recently, Indian skipper Virat Kohli had spoken about him and said, “He is a guy who does not shy away from responsibility. He is someone who takes the blows on the chin. He keeps moving forward. We would love to have him on board even if he is doing the same job right now. Just to have him around the group is a massive boost for us.”