R Sridhar Recalls When Indirectly Ravi Shastri Lambasted At MS Dhoni
By CricShots - Jan 23, 2023 3:05 pm
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Former India fielding coach R Sridhar shared an incident in 2018 when then-head coach Ravi Shastri indirectly took on MS Dhoni during a team meeting for his slow batting. Sridar released his new book ‘Coaching Beyond’ recently where he shared the incident when India toured England in 2018. India won the T20I series 2-1 and won the first ODI. This was followed by an 86-run loss in the second match where the visitors were in the hunt when Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina were at the crease.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni and Ravi Shastri

But things changed when they were dismissed quickly, and the onus was on MS Dhoni to get over the line. However, the wicketkeeper decided to slow down the run rate and India didn’t put up a fight in the end. As per the quotes in News18, in his book, R Sridhar wrote that while they were thrilled to see Dhoni score 10,000 ODI runs, Shastri was left fuming by the approach taken in the end.

R Sridhar wrote: “We were in the hunt when Virat and Suresh Raina were batting, but as we lost wickets, MS was left with only the bowlers for the company going into the last 10 overs. Uncharacteristically, he shut shop, and even though our required rate in the last 10 was nearly 13 an over, we only managed some 20 runs in the next six overs. That was the innings when MS got to 10,000 ODI runs a very significant milestone.”

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He further added, “We were all thrilled for him, but we also wanted to know why he hadn’t made even a token attempt at the target. Ravi, meanwhile, was seething. He was furious not because we lost by 86 runs, but how we lost the game, how we went down without putting up a fight. We didn’t go for the target, we didn’t go down throwing a punch, we just went down tamely. The head coach wasn’t going to let that one sail harmlessly by.”

The former fielding coach went on to say that Shastri didn’t hold back during a team meeting and indirectly slammed Dhoni for his approach in the game.

R Sridhar
R Sridhar

Recalling the same, R Sridhar said, “The decider was in Headingley, and we had a team meeting the previous day. I knew Ravi was going to make a strong point. He was at his loudest and fiercest as he said, ‘No matter who you may be, there should not be another occasion when we lose a match not trying to win it. And if anyone does it, that will be the last bloody game of cricket they will play under my watch. You can lose a cricket game, no shame in that, but you will not lose like this.”

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R Sridhar said that Dhoni wasn’t rattled by Shastri’s words and didn’t break eye contact with the head coach at that time.

Recalling the incident, R Sridhar said, “MS was sitting right there in the front, and while Ravi’s words were meant for the team, his eyes were trained on MS. To the former skipper’s great credit, he didn’t flinch, he never broke eye contact with Ravi. He didn’t look here and there or fidget because one of his many admirable qualities is his ability to take the knocks, especially when he knows in his heart of hearts that he deserves them.”