The empathetic hand of Ravi Shastri’s team in India’s rise

Head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and batting coach Vikram Rathour realised that the boys had been through a lot during the lockdown with the best fitness facilities and equipment not available to them.

Hence, they reached a collective decision to be empathetic, rather than being the hard taskmasters they generally are. And, it worked wonders.

The first time the entire Indian squad gathered post the COVID-19 induced lockdown was when they assembled in the UAE to take the flight for their lengthy tour of Australia, which comprised 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is and 4 test matches.

The idea was that the boys after having played an entire season of the IPL and having done their training routines would be fit enough to be back in the thick of things in international cricket. The likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari, who are test specialists and did not have IPL contracts, were to be fine tuned during the white ball leg of the tour to have them in good shape for the test series.

India did not start well, losing the ODI series but then bounced back, taking the T20Is and the test series emphatically. A lot of credit for that has to go to the Indian team management, which was crucial in ensuring that the team was in the best possible shape, both mentally and physically, when they stepped out on the field.

“Six months in the bubble, seeing the same faces… The bubble will burst (smiles). It’s tough for professional players when you are not doing well.. it’s really tough being in the bubble. It was teamwork, not one individual calling the shots. We’ve given opportunities for youngsters and they have grabbed those and delivered. They have been in a corner but they have fought from there. This side refuses to give up. We were irrepressible in Australia and we are the same here too.”

“The support staff have put in hours and hours of work to get the best out of the boys and more importantly to have them in the right frame of mind, Our main thing was to show empathy to the players because these are tough times,” Indian head coach Ravi Shastri said after India beat England by 3-1 at home to book a spot in the final of the World Test Championship.

Clearly, the empathy of Shastri & Co paid off.

Back to top button