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The Indian team under the “regime” of former captain and the current director Ravishankar Shastri, popularly known as Ravi Shastri, has put up yet another unbeaten performance. The team remains unbeaten under his leadership. Rajarshi Majumdar writes how…
It was just before the One-Day International (ODI) series against England that Ravi Shastri was appointed as the Director of the Indian cricket team. After the debacle in the Test series, lot of questions were raised regarding the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the coaching capabilities of Duncan Fletcher. But the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) approached the man whom they deemed fit for the role, and help the players arrest the slide.
In 2007, Shastri was appointed as the interim coach of a struggling Indian team. Coach Greg Chappell chose not to extend his contract after a tumultuous run which also saw India’s embarrassing exit from ICC World Cup 2007. Following this, India went to Bangladesh to play two Test matches and three ODIs. They won the Test series 1-0 and also went on to win the three-match ODI series. The current Indian skipper Dhoni was adjudged the Man of the Series as he scored 127 runs in two matches (the third ODI was abandoned due to intermittent rain), followed by Gautam Gambhir with 122 runs. Dhoni also was involved in three dismissals behind the stumps. India remained undefeated in that tour under Shastri.
Now, when Dhoni was facing truckloads of criticism after yet another overseas defeat in Tests, BCCI once again approached Shastri. Dhoni’s captaincy was under increasing scrutiny with few former Indian players questioning his decisions as India lost to England 3-1 in the five-match series. Resultantly, India’s bowling coach Joe Dawes and fielding coach Trevor Penney were given a ‘break’ from the ODI series and were replaced by Sanjay Bangar, R Sridhar and Bharat Arun.
Although, Fletcher remains the head coach but BCCI-appointed Shastri would be the overall in-charge of affairs of the Indian team, media reports suggested. Dhoni is leading a young and comparatively inexperienced Indian side who is ahead in the ongoing ODI series by 2-0. In the second ODI, India defeated England by a huge margin 133 runs (via Duckworth-Lewis method). Suresh Raina and Dhoni helped India to reach a total of 304 runs in their 50 overs. In the third ODI, India continued their winning streak in England in ODIs by defeating the hosts by six wickets in the second ODI.
If India manage to maintain a clean sheet in this ongoing ODI series, it will be a huge boost to their confidence after the disastrous result in Tests against England. It will also mean that India will remain unbeaten under the supervision of Shastri.
(Rajarshi Majumdar is a reporter at CricketCountry. He played cricket for all age levels under the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) for over 12 years. Apart from cricket he is an avid follower of football, supports Manchester United and a foodie at heart.)
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