Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has given his vote of confidence to current coach Rahul Dravid to take India to greater heights. Shastri said that Dravid had done the hard yards before taking on the responsibility, and he will do justice to the head coach role.
Shastri also revealed that he got the job to coach India by mistake as he was just a commentator and had no prior experience of leading the troops, but Dravid has come through the system. Notably, Dravid had coached India Under-19 team as well as India A team before taking over as full-time head coach of the senior side.
“No better person to take over after me than Rahul, I got that job by mistake, which I told Rahul. I was in the commentary box; I was asked to go there, and I did my bit. But Rahul is a guy who has come through the system, he has done the hard yards. He has been the coach of the U-19 team, and he has taken over this Indian team, and I think he will enjoy it once the team starts responding,” said Shastri in a chat show on SkySports.
Shastri was asked by Michael Atherton to have a say regarding his stint as India coach, to which the Mumbaikar responded and said he enjoyed a successful tenure as India managed to win two Test series in Australia and were also leading the series in England. Shastri mentioned that apart from not winning a World Cup, the Indian side under his watch did an incredible job across the formats under the captaincy of Virat Kohli.
“I think it was very rewarding, it can be a thankless job because you are judged every day of your life by 1.4 billion people only. There is no hiding away from it, there is nothing to hide behind. You face the bullet, performances matter day in and day out. You got to win. The expectations are big, but the way the boys responded, when I look back at my tenure, those seven years when I was there, I am proud that I had a team that responded in the fashion they did. When I did take over, they were not playing the best of cricket as those rankings will show but towards the end, they were right up there in all formats of the game,” the 60-year-old explained.
“If anything, they did not win the World Cup in that tenure of mine but otherwise some amazing performances around the globe in different countries in red-ball cricket and white-ball cricket. But nothing beats those two back-to-back series wins in Australia. That is the icing on the cake then, of course, leading the series in England last year. The team took pride in playing red-ball cricket, Virat must be complimented for that. He led from the front, he wanted to play in that fashion, and the fast-bowlers responded. You could see players evolving in that period of time, the Jadeja, Rishabh Pant,” Shastri added.