When Ravi Shastri was the head coach of the Indian team, they were known for playing dominating cricket and as a result, they also managed to produce fearless cricketers who have what it takes to carry Indian cricket forward into the next era. The rise of the pace attack and the emergence of some of the most promising youngsters with breath-taking skills can be highlighted as the two big achievements of Shastri’s tenure, besides India’s phenomenal record in overseas conditions.
Shastri may have stepped down as India’s head coach, but he still admires the supremely confident and talented current bunch of players who only keeps growing. Lavishing high praise on the current crop of youngsters, Ravi Shastri has singled out three players who are different than the ones seen in Indian cricket’s previous eras.
During a chat with The Week, Ravi Shastri said, “They are brilliant! Pant, Shubman Gill, Bumrah – it has only been a couple of years since they made their India debut. They have the same belief as their predecessors; it’s just that the exuberance of youth and fearlessness is far greater. They come in far more experienced than the previous generations.”
Bumrah’s rise in international cricket is nothing short of being called as magical. In less than two years, Bumrah has become the leader of India’s fast bowling attack in Tests, while taking his game several notches higher in ODIs and T20Is. Then there is Pant, who has turned a corner since returning to the Indian set-up in late 2020.
His exploits in Australia and later at home against England have been considered legendary and there is no doubt that the 23-year-old will be a crucial player for India in the two upcoming World Cups. Gill, on the other hand, has shown sparks and is highly capable of converting those starts into something big in near future.
Elaborating the same, Ravi Shastri said, “I have always said that the IPL has made a difference – to share a dressing room with the best in the world, play with and against them and then come into the Indian team; [it makes them] far more experienced. When I was playing, the maximum pace I had faced in domestic cricket was 74kmph. Then, [when I made it] to the Indian team, [I faced] Imran Khan and the West Indies pacers. The exposure level is vastly different.”