IND vs AUS: “No Bloody Half-volleys” – R Sridhar Recalls When Ravi Shastri Blasted Bhuvneshwar, Shami, Bumrah, Hardik

Ravi Shastri, India
Ravi Shastri (PC-Getty Images)

Former India National Cricket Team fielding coach R Sridhar has shared an incident in his recently published book ‘Coaching Beyond: My Days with the Indian Cricket Team’ when the then-India head coach Ravi Shastri lashed out at the Indian pace bowling unit, consisting of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.

R Sridhar recalled the first Test match of the India tour of South Africa 2018, which was held at the Newlands in Cape Town. The 52-year-old mentioned that the medium-pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar ran through the Proteas top-order and reduced them to 12/3, picking up the wickets of Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla.

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He added that Ravi Shastri was left fuming after South Africa were allowed to reach 286 after losing early wickets and Shastri blasted the pace-bowling unit and clearly told them to avoid bowling half-volleys.

“We were in South Africa in early 2018, for the first Test in Cape Town. Within half an hour of the start of the game, Bhuvneshwar reduced them to 12/3, dismissing Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla. Then we bowled like millionaires and they ended up making 286. That evening, Ravi summoned the pace attack (Bhuvi, Shami, Bumrah and Hardik) and thundered, ‘What’s this rubbish? I have seen so much driving in the middle that I am sick of it. From this point on, whatever driving happens must be only on the road. No bloody half-volleys, get stuck into them’,” R Sridhar wrote.

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Notably, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers had a fine partnership and they scored good half-centuries to lead South Africa to recovery. The lower-order batters also made good contributions and the Proteas posted a good total on the board.

I said I don’t want to see a ball pitched up under the nose – Ravi Shastri

In 2021, on the show ‘Bold and Brave: The Shastri Way’ on Star Sports, Ravi Shastri had narrated the same incident in his own words, matching the details pinpointed by Sridhar.

Former India head coach had said that the pace-bowling unit of the side followed his advice and did a fantastic job in the second innings, bundling out the Proteas for 130.

“In the first innings, we had a reasonable Day 1. We picked up three wickets, and then bowled a lot of nonsense after lunch. South Africa recovered and reached 200, in spite of what we dished out. Next morning, we pulled the bowlers in and in no uncertain terms told them ‘Keep your driving license at home’. I said I don’t want to see a ball pitched up under the nose,” he had said on the show ‘Bold and Brave: The Shastri Way’ on Star Sports.

“It has to be a different length; you’ve got to get a little bit shorter and use the bounce as opposed to Indian conditions where you might be a little fuller. And after that, the bowling attack was different. We rolled over South Africa for 130 in the second innings. Then did reasonably well on a good strip at Centurion and they bowled out South Africa in Johannesburg twice.”

India lost the first Test by 72 runs and the second Test by 135 runs to lose the series. However, Virat Kohli & Co. managed to avoid the whitewash by winning the third Test by 63 runs.

Also Read: IND vs AUS: Sanjay Manjrekar Feels Ravi Shastri-Virat Kohli Duo Would Have Prepared Rank Turners For The Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023

Virat Kohli | Rohit Sharma | Rishabh Pant | KL Rahul | Suryakumar Yadav | Sanju Samson | Shreyas Iyer | Yuzvendra Chahal | Jasprit Bumrah


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