Former India’s head coach Ravi Shastri has openly confessed that the squad selected for the 2019 World Cup was totally ‘unsatisfactory’. The head coach was literally taken aback by the decision to pick 3 wicketkeepers.
However, at the same time, the former head coach maintained that he never interfered with selection-related matters. The role of the head coach is to bring the best out of players.
Earlier, India’s squad selection for the 2019 World Cup stirred a massive outrage in the Indian cricket fraternity. The fans and former cricketers took to Twitter and lash out at the selection committee’s decision.
The biggest surprise was when the then MSK Prasad-led committee missed out on picking the specialist batter Ambati Rayudu. In fact, the right-handed batsman proved his worth as the No.4 batsman.
He maintained a batting average of close to 50 but was still overlooked by the selectors. However, Vijay Shankar was given the nod. The former chief selector MSK Prasad said the board picked Vijay Shankar since he is a three-dimensional player.
Even the former Indian white-ball captain Virat Kohli openly said in the build-up to the ICC 2019 World Cup that he would be the Indian team’s no.4 batter. Ravi Shastri was asked to express his opinion on bizarre team selection.
Ravi Shastri admits he was unhappy with selection for 2019 World Cup
Meanwhile, the former Indian cricketer Shastri said either Ambati Rayudu or Shreyas Iyer should have been in the Indian cricket team instead of three wicketkeepers.
Ravi Shastri told Times of India in an interview: “I had no say in that (team selection). But I wasn’t okay with three wicketkeepers being picked for the World Cup. Either Ambati or Shreyas could’ve come in.
“What was the logic in having MS Dhoni, Rishabh [Pant] and Dinesh [Karthik] all together?” The former head coach further added: “But I never interfered with the selectors’ work, except when I was asked for feedback or as part of a general discussion.”
On the other hand, Indian fast bowlers took their aggression to the next level under Ravi Shastri’s tutelage. Jasprit Bumrah bowled really well on a consistent basis. Rightly so, India benefitted from his experience.
Talking about Bumrah, Ravi Shastri said: “Cape Town was on my mind almost two months before we had landed there. Me and (Bharat) Arun were at a function in Kolkata during Durga Puja when I called Jasprit. It was September 2017, and I told him to be ‘ready’ for SA. That guy couldn’t believe – all he said was ‘playing Test cricket is my dream’.”
“The spell he bowled in the second innings at Cape Town – that’s just what we had expected him to do. And that was just the start. He’s a quick learner and has a good attitude. The only other bowler in India who took the same amount of time to declare himself to the world – that here’s a great – was Kapil Dev,” Shastri concluded.