The five-match series between India and England came to an end with the host nation turning out to be victorious by a 4-1 margin. All kinds of questions are being raised by the fans and cricket experts regarding India’s disappointing display.
Though Team India land at the first spot in the ICC rankings when it comes to Test cricket, many believe that a good home season and series win against not so formidable teams such as Sri Lanka and West Indies made their journey to the top spot quite simple. Number of Indian players and particulary batsmen couldn’t stand up to their reputation in the series. But one of the biggest reason for India’s defeat to England is being blamed to the management side of things and India's head coach Ravi Shastri is the man who’s in the line of fire this time. Before the start of the tour, the coach called out the current lot of players from the Indian team as the best travelers compared to the last 15 years, but the results on the ground said otherwise. Ravi Shastri is the most expensive cricket coach in the world, but how does the performance of the team in his coaching testify to this fact?
India lost 4-0 in 2011. After that number came in 2014, where England beat England 3-1 to England, and in 2018, the Indian team suffered a 4-1 defeat. Goes to show that there hasn’t been enough evidence to concur with Shastri’s sentiments.
Why Ravi Shastri fail to recognize the situation?
Ravi Shankar Jayayditha Shastri, who started his cricket career in the eighties, has played 80 Test matches for India. The All rounder scored 3830 runs with the bat, and scalped 151 wickets with his left arm spin. Ravi Shastri has also been a broadcaster for a large part of his career in the international level for a long time after retiring from the game.
Shastri got the Indian coaching role in 2017 by replacing Anil Kumble who had resigned from the post after the ICC Champions League in England. Shastri’s team beat the West Indies and Sri Lanka away from home in convincing manner.
But when India travelled to South Africa and later England, life didn’t seem so easy anymore for the most expensive coach in the world. Team India lost 2-1 to South Africa and took a beating by England 4-1 quite recently.
Ravi Shastri still seemed happy about the fact that the Indian team deservingly got the Test mace under him. Shastri believes that at this time the Indian team is number one on the list of the strongest team overseas. The former cricketer has been criticized for his ‘over confident’ approach by some fans, while some experts have went on to say that Ravi Shastri got the easy route to the top of the pile.
According to Ravi Shastri, the best touring team is ' Virat Brigade .'
Before losing the series 3-1 in England and the fifth Test match, team coach Ravi Shastri had said at the press conference that this Indian team has been the best performing Indian team in the last 15-20 years. Did Ravi Shastri give his statement after examining the figures? Did Ravi forgot the Test series victory in England in 2007, under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid?
If you talk about Ravi Shastri's coaching, India defeated South Africa once, and England once when we talk about recent time and date. The same Indian team has defeated West Indies and Sri Lanka who are now ghosts of their former selves. If we ask the general public about where they want to see India winning more games – they would unhesitatingly mention Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand. But the coach seems unaffected by everything that is getting unraveled in front of him and is constantly in awe of his win percentage which is higher than the previous of the coaches – courtesy a weak Sri Lanka and West Indies team, followed by a few Test affairs with Bangladesh as well as Afghanistan who recently got Test status
Was Sanjay Bangar better than Dravid for Shastri ?
Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, Cricket Advisor had decided to make Rahul Dravid the batting consultant of Team India for foreign tour. Ganguly was accompanied by little master – Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman in the committee. As per speculations Rahul Dravid refused for the role of batting consultant after he got the news that he will have to work with Ravi Shastri in various assignments. Dravid shifted his priority to the U19 and India A level – who are currently doing wonders in the world of cricket. Zaheer Khan was also in contention to be the bowling coach but instead Bharat Arun was given preference, while Sanjay Bangar was made the batting coach.
As per Shastri Bharat Arun and Sanjay Bangar could have contributed more to the betterment of Indian cricket as compared to Dravid and Zaheer. To remind a few people, Rahul Dravid is considered as one of the greatest ever batsmen to ever walk this earth, and has proven time and time again through his patience and persistence in the most challenging of conditions. While Zaheer Khan's form with the red cherry was the major reason why India registered a historic series win in England back in 2007 – under Dravid’s captaincy.
Ravi Shastri went to England promising to play 'home game' abroad!
Ravi Shastri's coaching also raises questions. Before going to England, Ravi Shastri had said at the press conference that "We will not try to win on any team , our aim will be to win over the pitch conditions ."We believe in molding the pitch, whether it is Mumbai , Delhi or London."
From playing an injured Ravichandran Ashwin in the fourth Test, to not considering the number three bowler and all rounder in world cricket – Ravindra Jadeja to feature in a match until the very last game raise a lot of eye browse and agitated a lot of fans calling for Shastri’s head, especially after the comments were made.
Ganguly had recently said that “people should not give importance to what Ravi Shastri says.”
Ultimately the team had to face defeat in the series 4-1. The important question that needs to be addressed now more than ever is that where do team India go from here. Will an Asia Cup win in the Middle East be enough to cover the wounds of England? The answer is simply, No! The current lot of Indian players have massive potentials with the bat and ball and have the ability to be genuine match winners. But highly confident press conferences and selection on the basis of face value adds unnecessary pressure to a young team and breaks the confidence of a few others. Virat Kohli as a captain has been admirable after every win as well as loss. The skipper has taken responsibility for the loss and takes it to the chin without hesitation.
Similarly the people of India want their head coach to come out in the open and explain to his short comings, in a manner which replicates him boasting about his personal stats and figures since he got appointed.
About the Author
Comes from the United Arab Emirates, is a sports junkie and a journalist, who has been following cricket as well as football since childhood. Played cricket in academies, school, and university levels. A fanatic follower of one of Europe's biggest ever football clubs - Manchester United.