In his tenure as head coach of India, Ravi Shastri has seen some major ups and some major downs. One of India’s greatest achievements was winning the back-to-back Test series in Australia in 2018-2019 and 2020-21 under Shastri. The Indian team won both times, winning the series 2-1, and although the latter win will be remembered more than the former, the first win will not be forgotten as well.
The 2019 series was fantastic. On that tour, we had the impression that if we start off well, there might be a chance. The chances are good if we can get to Australia early. The game was close. “We won by 30-odd runs but that was good because then the belief was there,” Shastri explained in a recent interview. Australia won the first Test by 146 runs in Perth after India won by 31 runs in Adelaide. The Men in Blue rallied to win the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground by 137 runs. It was this match that Shastri admits he gambled the most during his tenure as India coach.
“So we went into this match with two new players. I told Mayank Agarwal you’d be playing three days after he landed. You should not think that it is Australia and that it is just another game. Hanuma did the opening and performed brilliantly. When you are opening, everybody knows how big the pressure is. But he did an extraordinary job and the rest is history, ” concluded Shastri.