"If One 'F*** You' Comes Your Way...": Ravi Shastri's Message To Indian Cricket Team On Tackling Australia
Ravi Shastri, former Indian cricket team head coach, reveals the inside story on how the side won in Australia twice
Ravi Shastri's tenure as Indian cricket team head coach from 2017 to 2021 saw several highs with two successive Test series wins in Australia taking the cake. Shastri and Virat Kohli guided India to their maiden Test series win down under in 2018-19, and then the team also won their next tour to Australia in 2020-21. Both wins paved a new era of confidence for Team India, which later went on to qualify for the inaugural World Test Championship final as well. Shastri, in a recent interview, revealed how the winning mentality was built.
The Australian cricket team members have been known to indulge in mind games and sledging, and Shastri had a medicine to tackle it when the Indians faced them in two away series.
"...it was about attitude, especially when playing the Aussies. I told the boys if one single 'f*** you' comes your way, give them three back: two in our language and one in theirs," Shastri, former Indian cricket team coach, told The Guardian in an interview.
Under Shastri and Kohli, Indian team is also leading 2-1 in a Test series in England. The final Test of the 2021 series had to be postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian camp with the final game of the five-match series to be played in July this year.
"How many teams can win in Australia – beating an attack with Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood from 1-0 down – and then win in England? That will be hard for any team to replicate for a long time," Shastri said.
He further elaborated how an aggressive attitude transformed the Indian fast bowlers into a potent unit.
"...we knew winning in Australia or England wasn't coming with spin, it was fast bowlers, guys with aggression like Jasprit Bumrah. We were instrumental in making sure that guy played Test cricket. You don't even need express pace, you just need attitude," he said.