Former India allrounder and current head coach Ravi Shastri is celebrating his 58th birthday today. The decorated cricketer continues to be a prominent figure of the game and among the fans with his involvement in various capacities.
From being flown in as a injury replacement to make his Test debut in New Zealand to winning the 1983 World Cup title to becoming a popular commentator and then the head coach of Indian cricket team, Shastri has found success everywhere.
Here are the top-10 facts about Shastri that you should know:
1) He was still in college when an SOS from Indian team in New Zealand saw him being flown to the country as an injury replacement to Dilip Joshi. He went on to make a memorable debut taking six wickets in the test.
2) He started his international career as a No. 10 batsman. However, in the blink of an eye, he proved his batting credentials and within two years, went on to open the innings for India.
3) Shastri had an impressive record against some of the strongest bowling attacks of his time. Against Australia, England, Pakistan and the West Indies, he averaged 39.69 with seven centuries. As an opener, his average shoots up to to 56.45 with four centuries.
4) He played 80 Tests and scored 3830 runs at 35.79 including 11 centuries and 12 fifties. His highest score was 206, scored against Australia. In 150 ODIs, he scored 3108 runs at 29.04 including four centuries and 18 fifties.
5) With his left-arm spin, Shastri picked up 151 wickets in Tests and 129 wickets in ODIs
6) He held the record for the fastest double-century in first-class cricket (in minutes) for over three decades. He took just 113 minutes to the landmark while playing for Mumbai against Baroda during a Ranji Trophy match in 1985. It was during this match that he became the second batsman to hit six sixes in an over.
7) For his excellent all-round show during the 1985 World Championship of Cricket in Australia, Shastri was voted as ‘The Champions of Champions’. He was awarded with an Audi 100 sedan and Shastri still has the car and often takes it out for a drive on Sundays.
8) Since taking over as the head coach, Shastri saw through several historic firsts for the Indian cricket team. They secured a maiden Test series win in Australia, won first ever bilateral ODI series in Australia and South Africa among others.
9) A flamboyant character, Shastri grabbed headlines for his exploits one and off-the-field. There were rumours of him dating Bollywood actress Amrita Singh who later went on to marry Saif Ali Khan.
10) Shastri married Ritu Singh in 1990. They have a daughter, Aleka, who was born in 2008, when Shastri was 46 years old.