Former cricketer and the head coach of India’s men’s team, Ravi Shastri, is celebrating his 59th birthday on May 27. He was a member of the 1983 squad which lifted the ODI World Cup for India for the first time ever. The former all-rounder played 80 Tests and 150 ODIs between 1981 and 1992.
After retiring from international cricket at the early age of 31 due to a serious knee injury, Shastri went on to take many cricketing roles in his life. His commentary is widely popular and he made India’s 2011 World Cup victory unforgettable with his golden words. “Dhoni finishes off in style. India lift the world cup after 28 years,” Shastri had said as then captain MS Dhoni hit the winning six. Currently, the 59-year-old is coaching the ‘Men in Blues’ and is on the job for the last four years.
On Ravi Shastri’s birthday, let’s take a look at his achievements as a coach:
If we talk purely about numbers, then Shastri stands tall among all the head coaches in the longer format. Out of the 46 Tests India played under him, the team won 28. The winning percentage is 60.87. India’s former coach John Wright comes second with 21 wins in 52 games, followed by Gary Kirsten and Duncan Fletcher.
In ODIs, the former right-handed batsman led India in 91 matches out of which it won 57 with a winning percentage of 62.64.
The high point in Shastri’s coaching career came when India won the first-ever Test series against Australia in Australia. India’s fightback in the 2018-19 Border Gavaskar Trophy is largely credited to Shastri for filling the young talent with never-say-die attitude. India had won the four-match Test by 2-1.
The grooming of young players like Rishabh Pant has also taken place during Shastri’s coaching period. Pant shone earlier this year when India again beat Australia at their soil. The series win was also important as India was badly shaken after the first match where they were bowled out for just 36 runs in the second inning of the game. The rest of three matches were without captain Virat Kohli who was on paternity leave. However, the inexperienced young team, under the leadership of coach Shastri, did the unthinkable – snatched the series by winning the last game at Gabba which is considered the fort of Australian team.
The one thing India was failing to do under Shastri’s role was reaching finals of ICC tournament. But that has also been achieved as the ‘Men in Blues’ will take on the ‘Black Caps’ New Zealand in the inaugural World Test Championship final in Southampton, England from June 18-22.