Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar lauded outgoing head coach Ravi Shastri and his support staff for their role in nurturing the Indian cricket team over the past four years.
The legendary batsman highlighted the difficult period in 2017 when Shastri re-entered the ring after Anil Kumble had a fallout with Virat Kohli. “It wasn’t the easiest of times for Shastri to take over as he came in following the disgusting manner of Kumble’s exit. Despite being chosen once again by the Cricket Advisory Committee of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, and V.V.S. Laxman, Kumble chose not to accept the job as he was given a broad hint that the skipper did not want him as the coach,” Gavaskar wrote in his fortnightly column in Sportstar.
“As always Kumble chose Indian cricket over personal glory and opted not to stay on and create an unpleasant situation. It was and will go down as one of the saddest chapters in Indian cricket history where a legend of not just Indian cricket but of the game was treated scurvily by the captain and the administrators then (COA) chose to look the other way.”
Shastri’s self-confidence kept him motivated, and there were results. India became a pace powerhouse under bowling coach Bharat Arun, and there were Test series wins in Australia and West Indies. Kohli and Co. almost clinched the series in England before COVID paused the Manchester Test. “He quickly re-established the rapport he had with the captain and the team,” Gavaskar praised the former India all-rounder.