After overseeing two consecutive overseas losses, India head coach Ravi Shastri is under the scanner with many calling for his ouster.
After overseeing two consecutive overseas losses, India head coach Ravi Shastri is under the scanner with many calling for his ouster.

After overseeing two consecutive overseas losses, India head coach Ravi Shastri is under the scanner with many calling for his ouster. Latest to join the bandwagon is former Indian opener and the current Uttar Pradesh sports minister Chetan Chauhan.

“Ravi Shastri should be removed as head coach before the Australia tour,” said Chauhan, who played 40 Tests for India between 1969 and 1981. “Ravi Shastri is very good cricket commentator and he should be allowed to do so,” he said.

After a successful home series, India lost to South Africa in South Africa 1-2 earlier this year before a 1-4 capitulation to England in England this month.

However, what has irked many former cricketers, more than the defeats, is Shastri’s comment during the series – and after – that the current Indian team has been the best travelling side in over 15 years. Sunil Gavaskar had refuted Shastri’s claims and Chauhan, Gavaskar’s opening partner also echoed similar sentiments.

“I do not agree. In 1980s, the Indian team was the best travelling team in the world,” he added.

Since Virat Kohli was appointed Test captain in the aftermath of MS Dhoni’s retirement in Australia in December 2014, India have travelled to Bangladesh, the West Indies and Sri Lanka twice. In Bangladesh, the one-off Test was drawn. In Sri Lanka in 2015 soon after that trip, India rallied back from defeat in Galle to win the next two Tests in Colombo.

Their next overseas visit was to the West Indies in 2016, where Kohli became the first Indian captain to win two Tests matches in the Caribbean. India won the four-match series 2–0. In 2017, India went back to Sri Lanka and won all three Tests against a side struggling to overcome the gigantic void filled by the retirements of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan.

For the last time an Indian cricket team won a Test series in any other country other than Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the West Indies, one has to look at the 2009 tour of New Zealand when Dhoni’s team drew the three-match affair 1-0. That team featured Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan.

Since then, India’s Test tours outside of Asia and the West Indies have been to Australia (they lost 0-4 in 2011-12 and 0-2 in 2014-15), England (they lost 0-4 in 2011, 1-3 in 2014 and 1-4 in 2018), South Africa (they drew 1-1 in 2010-11, lost 0-1 in 2013-14 and 1-2 this year) and New Zealand (they lost 0-1 in 2013-14).