The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) led by Kapil Dev retained Ravi Shastri as the head coach of the Indian team for the next 26 months earlier this week. Mike Hesson and Tom Moody were his closest competitors for the top job but Shastri’s experience and camaraderie with the players went in his favour in the end. Team India did really well across the formats under Shastri but fell short of the trophy in the 2019 World Cup.
India lost to New Zealand in the semi-final of the tournament by 18 runs as they were bundled out for 221 chasing 240. The Men in Blue had topped the group stage after playing nine matches and looked destined to qualify for the final as the Kiwis had huffed and puffed to the knockout stage. But the Kane Williamson-led side upped their game when it mattered the most and stunned the title favourites in the semi-final.
Ravi Shastri, while speaking about the heartbreaking loss, termed it as the biggest disappointment during his tenure as the coach. Though he accepted the fact that they didn’t play well on the day and especially during the first few overs of their batting innings when the top-order collapsed.
Those 30 minutes changed everything
“I’ll say the World Cup semifinal [biggest disappointment]. Those 30 minutes changed everything. We were right there and then it all slipped away. We played some very good cricket through the tournament. We won more matches than any other team, topped the table and that spoke of our dominance. But then, that’s sport. One bad day, one bad session and it wasn’t ours to go any further,” Shastri said in an interview to the Times of India.
Ravi Shastri’s extended tenure will be even more crucial now as India will play two ICC tournaments ( 2 T20 World Cups in 2020 and 2021) and the ICC World Test Championship. It becomes inevitable for him and Virat Kohli now to win one of those in order to make a statement in world cricket and the 57-year-old is targetting the same as well.
“Here are two ICC T20 tournaments over the next two years, in 2020 and 2021. The Test championship cycle has begun, so that becomes a top priority. We have a splendid Test side that’s stayed at the top of the rankings and needs to keep up that good work. In T20Is, we need to take a fresh perspective and consolidate on the fabulous talent we have,” Shastri further added.
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