Comeback after 36-all out is the biggest highlight of Ravi Shastri’s tenure: Sunil Gavaskar.
Team India’s former batting stalwart Sunil Gavaskar in his recent interaction with Star Sports points out Ravi Shastri’s biggest highlight as the Indian head coach. Gavaskar believes team India’s astonishing comeback against Australia in the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 after the infamous 36-all out at Adelaide should be at the top of the list.
Team India was dismantled by Australians for mere 36 runs in the pink ball Test at Adelaide in the second innings. Despite taking a good lead, India slipped off its shoe and lost the match owing to the embarrassing debacle.
Following the test, Virat Kohli had returned home for the birth of his child, while the Indian test mainstays were getting ruled out one by one with their share of injuries. The Indian management drafted in the fringe players, who wouldn’t have got the opportunity in the tour, had the regular players been fit.
The Ajinkya Rahane-led depleted team India scripted an unforgettable history to retain the renowned Border Gavaskar Trophy which will be remembered for the ages to come as the most dramatic win for the Indians.
Team India thrashed the Aussies in their own backyard not once but twice in the test series consecutively.
Gavaskar, in conversation with Star Sports, recalled Shastri’s famous words – “wear this 36 like a badge” – before outlining the role he played in India’s dominating series win the absence of some of their top players.
“It obviously has got to be the way India bounced back earlier this year after being dismissed for 36 (in Adelaide Pink Ball Test). Because when something like that happens, the team tends to lose belief in itself, there is a sense of disappointment and there is a sense of giving up. And that is where Shastri played a huge role because from what I’ve read, is that he said that ‘you wear this 36 like a badge’.”
The regular players such as Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Hanuma Vihari and Jasprit Bumrah became unavailable. Besides these Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant sustained bruises in the matches, but still, both of them continued to provide their services.
“And then Ajinkya Rahane, the way he led the side in the three Tests, and of course everyone stepped up. We played almost like an A team not even the regular team. But every player who played in that, every replaced player came in and did well. And that is again tells you the kind of influence and input that Ravi Shastri had on the younger players and the fringe players who are waiting for their opportunities,” said Gavaskar.