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Ravi Shastri

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Ravishankar Jayadritha Shastri (born 27 May 1962) is the former head coach of the India national cricket team, an Indian former commentator and cricketer. As a player, he played for the India national cricket team between 1981 and 1992 in both Tests and ODIs. Although he started his career as a left arm spin bowler, he later transformed into a batting all-rounder.

As a cricketer, Shastri was essentially defensive with his trademark “chapati shot”(a flick off the pads), but he could raise his strike rate when required. Due to his above-average height (he stood 6′ 3” tall) and an upright stance, he had a limited number of shots against fast bowling, but was able to put the lofted shot to good use against spin bowling. Ravi played either as an opening batsman or in the middle order.

The highlight of his career was when he was elected Champion of Champions in the World Championship of Cricket in Australia in 1985. In the same season, on 10 January 1985, he equaled West Indian Garry Sobers record of hitting six sixes in an over in first class cricket. He was regarded as a potential captain, but his image outside cricket, injuries and tendency to lose form at crucial times meant that he captained India in only one Test match.

In domestic cricket, he played for Bombay and led them to the Ranji Trophy title in his final year of playing. He also played four seasons of county cricket for Glamorgan.He was forced to retire aged 31 due to a recurring knee injury. He has done commentary on behalf of BCCI in the matches that India play. In 2014, he became the director of Indian cricket team for a period of eight months from India’s tour of England till the 2015 World Cup. On 13 July 2017, he was appointed as the head coach of Indian cricket team. On 16 August 2019, he was re-appointed as the head coach of the senior men’s Indian team and remained in charge until the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup.

Ravi Shastri

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Personal life

Ravi Shastri is of Marathi-Mangalorean descent, was born in Bombay and studied at Don Bosco High School. As a teenager, he took to cricket seriously. Playing for Don Bosco (Matunga), Shastri reached the final of the 1976 inter-school Giles Shield, finally losing to St Mary’s, whose lineup included two future Ranji players, Shishir Hattiangadi and Jignesh Sanghani. The next year, under Shastri’s captaincy, Don Bosco won the Giles Shield in 1977, the first time in the history of that school. At school, his coach was B. D. Desai, once a Tata’s and Dadar Union player. While Don Bosco was not traditionally a major force in schools cricket, the R. A. Podar College, where Shastri later studied commerce, produced many good cricketers. Vasant Amladi and, in particular, V. S. “Marshall” Patil, were integral figures in Shastri’s development as a cricketer.

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International career

Within eighteen months of his Test debut, Shastri had moved up from tenth position in the batting order to being an opening batsman. “His calm, sensible batting lower in the order”, wrote Wisden, commenting on his first series,” raised promise of his developing into a useful all-rounder, and his fielding too was an asset”. By the end of his career, he had batted in every position from one to ten. By his own admission, he ignored his bowling in favour of his batting. This was reflected in his performances. However, his figures of 9-101 in the season-opening 1981 Irani Trophy stood as a tournament record for nearly twenty years.

It was the failure of the regular openers Pranab Roy and Ghulam Parkar that led to Shastri being made to open at the Oval against England in 1982. He distinguished himself by scoring 66 runs in that match. An injury in the webbing of his hand ruled him out of four of the Tests to be played in Pakistan. Forced again to open in the final Test at Karachi, against the fast bowling of Imran Khan (then at the peak of his career), he scored his first Test hundred. He later made another hundred against the West Indies in Antigua. Indian Cricket was impressed enough to suggest that, given time, he could become one of the best batsmen in the Indian team.

Shastri was not selected to play in most of the important matches in the 1983 World Cup. In the series against the West Indies later that year, he again distinguished himself with his bold effort in batting against the domineering West Indian pace bowlers.

Content available under the (CC BY SA 3.0), via Wikipedia

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