Updated: January 23, 2021 9:29:37 am
India fielding coach R Sridhar has spoken about a surprise midnight call he received from India skipper Virat Kohli and a few details about the conversations that were part of Kohli handing over the reins to Ajinkya Rahane for the best part of the Australia series.
Speaking on Ravichandran Ashwin’s YouTube channel, Sridhar said: “It was midnight, around 12.30 am, the night we lost the Adelaide Test. Virat Kohli messaged me: ‘What are you doing?’ I was shocked. I thought ‘why is he messaging at this time?’ I told him ‘head coach (Ravi Shastri), myself, Bharat Arun and Vikram Rathour are sitting together’. He said, ‘I’ll also join you’. I said, ‘no problem, come over.’
“He came there and all of us started discussing. That’s where ‘Mission Melbourne’ began. Shastri made a point there: ‘This 36, wear it like a badge! This 36 is what will make this team great’,” said Sridhar.
Kohli was the highest scorer for India in the 1st Test, in which they were dismissed for 36 in the second innings, but returned to India after that match to be with his wife at the time of the birth of his first child.
Sridhar recalled that Kohli and Rahane had a discussion as to what would be the way forward for the team for the remainder of the series.
“We were slightly confused but then we started talking about the decisions we’d have to take. Then Virat called Ajinkya the next morning and we had a very good discussion. After a 36 all-out, usually, teams would strengthen their batting. But Ravi Shastri, Virat, and Ajinkya decided to strengthen the bowling. That’s how we replaced Virat with Ravindra Jadeja, and it was a masterstroke,” concluded Sridhar.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines