Ahead of the Australia series, there was a lot of speculation on whether the Indian players will be allowed to have their families accompany them Down Under. And it has come to the fore that head coach Ravi Shastri was the one who was adamant that the families need to be allowed on the tour. Speaking on R Ashwin’s YouTube channel, fielding coach R Sridhar revealed how Shastri put every possible condition to put the families must be on the plane to Australia.
Describing the same, R Sridhar said, “When we were quarantined in Dubai, before the last 48 hours, they suddenly announced that the families will not be allowed. So before the Australian tour even started, they started their sledging — their off-the-field sledging. We had calls during night time. Sorry families not allowed, Australian government is strict on this. There were total 7 players who had brought their families and kids.”
He further added, “Then came Ravi Shastri into the scene. He then set up a zoom meeting since all of us were in our rooms in quarantine in Dubai. If families are not allowed, then we would not be going to Australia as well. And then he added ”no one knows Australia better than me. I have been going there for the last 40 years. How one should behave or bargain with them, I know”. He gave his usual sigh after that. He literally made sure that BCCI listened to what he said.”
Ashwin also went on to describe how it suddenly got difficult with strict bio-bubble rules, after the team was promised slight relaxation after the initial period of quarantine.
Explaining the same, R Ashwin said, “Before even 2021 began, we had an incident in Melbourne. When they called us to Australia, how did they invite us? You are all ready stuck in a three-and-a-half-month bubble here. They said all this and suddenly when it was 1-1, they ordered us, ”Stay in your room guys. How can you stay in a room? I was here with my kids as well. It was a difficult time for us, media was going crazy”.”
Even though Ashwin couldn’t be a part of the final Test at The Gabba, the injury-ravaged Indian boys managed to breach the Gabbatoire and win the series 2-1. It was Australia’s first loss in Brisbane since the November 1988 loss to Viv Richards’ West Indies.