Expressing his gratitude to CAC for reappointing him as Indian cricket team head coach, Ravi Shastri stated that there will be a lot of changes in the Indian limited overs and Test side in the next two years. Shastri outscored Mike Hesson and Tom Moody to get a two-year contract till the end of 2021 T20 World Cup mainly because of his outstanding track record with the Virat Kohli-led side.
Shastri — who is currently in the West Indies — said a lot of youngsters will get chances in the next couple of years.
“First I would like to thank the CAC for having faith in me. It’s a privilege and honour to be part of Team India,” said Shastri. “Next two years is to see the smooth transition happening. You will get a lot of youngsters coming — in both white-ball setup and Tests. You need to identify another three-four bowlers to add to the pool by the end of our tenure. My endeavour by the end of this tenure would be to leave the team in a happier space so that they can set a legacy in the time to come.”
“The reason why I came in here is the belief I had in this team, the belief that they could leave a legacy which very few teams have left behind which other teams going down will try and emulate.
“That is the desire. We are on track. There’s always room for improvement and with youth coming around, we can be sure of exciting times in the near future,” he added.
The Indian head coach emphasized that he, alongwith the team, would be striving to improve on all fronts and make sure they learn from mistakes.
“You’ve got to learn from your mistakes, nobody is perfect. When you strive for excellence and strive to raise the bar then you have to pay attention to detail,” he said.
“When you mess up or have an off day, don’t let that day go by and make sure you are focusing and concentrating on how you can overcome that barrier. That will be the endeavour of this team,” he added.
The 57-year-old Indian all-rounder, who was Team India director between 2014 and 2016, was appointed the head coach after Anil Kumble’s resignation following the 2017 Champions Trophy where India lost to Pakistan in the final.
Under Shastri, India won 13 out of 21 Tests, 43 out of 60 ODIs and 25 out of 36 T20Is.
Under his tenure, India recorded their first ever Test series win in Australia in 2019 after having lost on tours to South Africa and England in 2018. The Men in Blue also registered their first-ever bilateral ODI series win in South Africa last year.
However, Team India exited the 2019 World Cup in the semi-final after finishing top of the table in the league stages.
“The team has been superbly consistent. If you look at the performances over the last two years, it’s been simply outstanding. They have set the bar and it’s now upto them to raise the bar,” said Shastri.
He also made it clear that the team management would not shy away from experimenting. “We will invest in youth and there is room for experimentation.”
Just like former India skipper M.S. Dhoni, Shastri also wants to see the team being termed as the best fielding side in the world.
“In the last four-five years, the biggest improvement has been in fielding. And the endeavour is to make this side the best fielding team in the world,” he said.
“It’s a clear dictate to whosoever wants to play in this team to have spectacular standard of fielding, especially in white-ball cricket,” Shastri signed off.
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