Report Card: Coach Ravi Shastri in his first 10 days with Team India

Last Updated: Wed, Aug 02, 2017 10:06 hrs
ravi shastri

After taking charge of the team in his second stint, India coach Ravi Shastri already seems to have made an impact, though it's still early days.

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Shastri's first assignment is the ongoing Sri Lanka tour and in the 10 days he has been with the team, he has already tweaked the preparation style.

Under Shastri, Team India's Playing XI has got into a new practice of warming up before going down to the middle.

This was evident during the opening Test in Galle itself when Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Abhinav Mukund reached the ground before the rest of the squad. The mandate for them was to get to the nets and start hitting balls just in case India bat first.

With Kohli winning the toss and opting to bat, the duo was amply warmed-up and Dhawan went on to smash 190 off 168 balls in the first innings.

By the time the openers went in, Cheteshwar Pujara had completed this routine, while Virat Kohli was in the nets. This new approach seems to have been welcomed by all in the team.

There are reports regarding Shastri's first conversation with the team, when the coach is believed to have underlined the importance of enjoying the game before thinking of anything else. Apparently, he had asked the players to remember why they had started playing cricket and urged them to 'exhibit this passion on the field'.  

And off the field too, Shastri has been at his best in saying the right things to media.

It's no secret that Shastri is a big fan of Kohli who has led the country to 27 wins losing just three. "The way Virat is progressing, he may well catch up with Dhoni. I have been involved with cricket for 35 years as player, commentator and coach. Apart from Sachin Tendulkar, I have never seen anyone break records like Kohli. He has caught up with many greats, playing just half the number of matches. I wonder where will he stop,” Shastri told Anandabazar Patrika.

While saying so, Shastri maintained that MS Dhoni is still the best above the rest. "The guy has won two world titles - a World Cup and a World T20. Beside that, he has also finished runner-up in another World T20. He played in the semi-finals of two other World T20 and World Cups. People often talk about his limited-over record, but compare Dhoni's Test with any captain and it will show who is the greatest ever ," Shastri said. "Virat is progressing in the same direction as well," he added.

Given the short timeframe, it might be harsh to compare former coach Anil Kumble's approach and Shastri's but the latter seems to have scored better than his predecessor in the dressing room.

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