Former India batsman, Ajay Jadeja speaks highly about Ravi Shastri’s role as a head coach and a staunch figure in the dressing room in India’s success over the last few years. Ravi Shastri was appointed as a permanent head coach in 2017 and Indian cricket has risen as world-beaters since.
Under Shastri, India conquered Australia for the first time in Test cricket in 2018/19 – and did it again a couple of years later, this time against expectations as several youngsters and inexperienced players stepped up in the absence of senior players. Under Shastri – and Virat Kohli – Team India is unbeaten in the home Test series.
Ajay Jadeja reckons Ravi Shastri has instilled a belief in the dressing room that the team can win from any situation – epitomized by the first ODI against England on Tuesday where India bounced back with both bat and ball after the visitors had the upper hand.
Ajay Jadeja says that while Kohli does the work on the field, it is the coach who should be majorly credited for the mindset of the current Indian team; he also marvels at the pool of the players and the bench strength available at Shastri’s disposal.
“Ultimately, this team is Kohli’s, but he is the one running this team… Ravi Shastri. The intent has been visible, not only today but for the last 3-4 years. There is no change in approach – irrespective of the result. This time remains the same. The difference is the thinking,” Ajay Jadeja said in a video on Cricbuzz.
“That thinking is instilled in this team and this generation too is such. What the players think, the options they have. Players who are in and out, there are so many options that people of the old system would have gotten mental disorder,” he added.
He was never one to back down: Ajay Jadeja
The 50-year-old says that Shastri, who played 50 Tests and 150 ODIs, had the same attitude in his playing days as he has now: the never-say-die attitude. Jadeja, who featured in 196 ODIs and 15 Tests, reckons it is the same school of thought with which Shastri played, and has brimmed into the players in the squad.
“His style of play – shot-making – was different. But aggression wise, Ravi was always right up there. His style of batting, his captaincy. The way he thought of aggressive, that skill was unique. He was never one to back down,” the former batsman commented.