Former Indian head coach, Ravi Shastri has alleged that some people attempted that to make sure that he did not get the India head coach job in 2017. Shastri served as India’s Team Director from 2014 and until the 2015 World Cup. He was brought back as India’s head coach following the unceremonious exit of Anil Kumble in 2017.
Ravi Shastri was part of the interview process in 2016 as well but Kumble was preferred over him to the high-profile job only to have a public fall-out with then skipper Virat Kohli. Shastri came on board in 2017 and served as the head coach of the team until the T20 World Cup in 2021.
During a recent chat with Times of India, Ravi Shastri said, “During my second stint, I came after a huge controversy. And it was literally egg on the faces of those who wanted me away. They opted for someone and nine months later, they came back to the very guy they threw out. And I’m not pointing any fingers at people (BCCI) in general. Specific people. I must say an attempt was made to ensure I don’t get the job. But such is life.”
Meanwhile, Ravi Shastri also said that he didn’t agree with the selectors choosing three wicketkeepers in the squad for the 2019 World Cup. Shastri also said that he didn’t have anything to do with the dropping Ambati Rayudu, who was seen as a prime candidate to play in the No.4 position for India in the buildup to the tournament.
Ravi Shastri said, “I had no say in that. But I wasn’t okay with three wicketkeepers being picked for the World Cup. Either Ambati or Shreyas (Iyer) could’ve come in. What was the logic in having MS Dhoni, Rishabh and Dinesh all together? But I never interfered with the selectors’ work, except when I was asked for feedback or as part of a general discussion.”
While India was dominant in all formats of the game under Shastri and captain Virat Kohli, they failed to win grab an ICC title. Apart from the 2019 World Cup, India lost to New Zealand in the 2021 World Test Championship (WTC) final and also crashed out in the group stage of the 2021 T20 World Cup. Ravi Shastri said that the WTC final loss is what hurts him the most.
Talking about the same, Ravi Shastri said, “There are so many firsts this team has achieved. With this kind of team, we failed at not one, two but three ICC trophies. But the one that rankles me the most is the ICC Test championship. We had dominated and were No.1 for five years and we didn’t deserve to lose the one-off game. We went through quarantine. They had just won the series against England in England. Conditions suited them like home.”