He knows how to tackle big players: Former Pakistan batsman’s huge praise for India coach Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri has been a successful coach for Indian cricket team. Since being given the role in 2017, Shastri has led India to victories in a Test match and limited-overs series in South Africa in 2018, a Test match win in England the same year, India’s first-ever Test series win in Australia in 2019, and also a semifinal berth at the World Cup last year. The Indian players share a comfort zone with the former India allrounder, which was one of the reasons why Shastri was given another term as a coach last year in August with the team. But critics often question with players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Shikhar Dhawan, Shastri’s job as a coach gets easier.
Former Pakistan batsman Basit Ali, though, believes that saying so would be an unfair estimation of Shastri’s role as a coach with the Indian Cricket Team. Speaking on his Youtube video chat show ‘Basit Ali show’, the former Pakistan cricketer explained why he believes Shastri to be among the best coaches in the world at the moment.
In the video, Ali was asked to name who among the current international coaches would he rate the highest. In his response, Ali said: “I would highly rate Ravi Shastri among all the current coaches. If Andy Flower was coaching an international team right now, I would pick him, but he isn’t at the moment.”
“Ravi Shastri was such a big player. And his style of coaching is similar. I saw one of his press conferences and the way he replied back to the media - this is the role of the coach. To talk straightforward when someone is asking questions. A coach must also know how to give a shut-up call,” he further added.
“To say that Ravi Shastri got a really strong team, hence his job is easier is not fair. A coach must also know how to tackle all his big players. In our team, we got Shoaib Akhtar, but there was no coach to tackle him. If someone had figured out how to tackle him, he would have been an even bigger player. This is the biggest task of coach,” Ali further said.
In an interview to The Hindu this year, Shastri had opened up on his role as a coach and said: “We all have roles. Our job is to fine tune them in every possible way because when you are on the road, there is so much happening, there could be little things in your game that creep in which you don’t realise, which could lead to bigger things. So our job is not to have a stick in our hand and keep rapping them on the knuckles.”
“You don’t have to go to a player and tell him something for the sake of telling it. If there is a reason why you have to tell him that and if you have a solution, then I step in. I will never go to a player and tell him what you are doing is wrong without having a solution to correct it,” he had added.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- In the first part of our series we look back at England's tours of India from 1933-34 to 1963-64