“He has done the yards as coach”- Shastri backs Dravid to raise the bar; hints at return to commentary

Rav Shastri with Rahul Dravid | BCCI Twitter

Ravi Shastri’s tenure as Indian team head coach came to an end after India defeated Namibia in their final Super 12s league stage match in the T20 World Cup 2021. India failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament for the first time since 2012.

Along with this, Virat Kohli’s T20I captaincy tenure also came to an end. The BCCI has already announced former India captain Rahul Dravid as the new head coach of the Indian team and he will take over the reins from the New Zealand series at home from November 17.

Shastri lauded Dravid’s appointment as head coach citing his experience both as a player and as a coach of the India A and India U19 teams.

There is one thing missing, that is (winning the) ICC tournament. They will get a chance and Rahul Dravid has come as a coach, I wish him all the luck. He is a great player, got the stature, he has done the yards as a coach, to further take this team over the next few years and raise the bar,” Shastri said at the virtual post-match media interaction on Monday.

Shastri also heaped praise on outgoing bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar, whose tenures too ended with the team’s World Cup campaign.

See, I call him (Arun) the guru of that (bowling) department… he and Sridhar have done an outstanding job, but I’ll come first to Bharat Arun. He has been in the coaching space for almost 20 years now, if not more. nd not only that he has coached a lot of coaches, he has conducted a lot of courses, he has certified a lot of coaches and then come to do this job and that’s the prime reason I picked them…

.. because I wanted to pick people from my stable, which is the NCA and I happen to be the chairman there for some time when the system was put in place. That is the time guys like Sridhar and Arun came into the fold, with Dav Whatmore there,” Shastri said.

Shastri praised bowling coach B Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar | Twitter

Shastri singled out Arun’s communication as his biggest plus point.

He will not change anyone’s technique for the sake of it, unless he has the solution or unless he explains to the guy (player) why he has to do it, for the sake of doing it, he won’t. He instilled professionalism in the unit by his communication skills, to let them know that this is what we expect from a bowling team not a bowling individual, that is not easy, that is something specific that he did, he ensured that happened,” he said.

Shastri also mentioned that under Sridhar’s guidance, the Indian team became one of the best fielding units in the world.

And then I’ll go to Sridhar, who I think is one of the best coaches in the world (and) he is outstanding. All I had to tell him was I want this to be one of the best Indian fielding sides ever, that was my diktat to him and said in every match, I want to see the bar raised, there was no messing around, it had to be done and similarly with Arun as far as professionalism came to bowling as a unit, it took time, but it happened and hence the results,” added Shastri.

Ravi Shastri was one of the most recognizable voices on the mic before taking up the mantle of the Indian team coach. He was the one to announce India becoming the world champions after 28 years when MS Dhoni hit Nuwan Kulasekara for a six in the 2011 World Cup final in Mumbai.

I mean, if you look at – if you want the real highlights, nothing beats Australia. England, we’re up in the series. It will be the longest time we’ll be up in the series until next year. I might be commentating on that game for all you know, but I’ll keep that one area. It feels good,” Shastri said.