While Ravi Shastri's tenure as the Team India head coach is all set to end after the T20 World Cup in UAE, he said that while there would be a bit of "sadness", he is convinced that he is leaving at the right time after having "over-achieved" during his reign.
Shastri's first stint as the head coach of the national team began in 2017 and he was reappointed in 2019. The T20 World Cup, which is likely to be his last assignment, is set to begin on October 17 in UAE. The 59-year-old is currently in quarantine after contracting the COVID-19 infection during India's tour of England.
In an interview with The Guardian, Shastri said that while winning the T20 World Cup to end his stint would be special, the team has already done special things during his time as the coach.
"I believe so because I've achieved all I wanted. Five years as No 1 (in Test cricket), to win in Australia twice, to win in England," he said.
"I spoke to Michael Atherton earlier this summer and said: 'For me, this is the ultimate – to beat Australia in Australia and win in England in Covid times.' We lead England 2-1 and the way we played at Lord's and the Oval was special," he added.
We have beaten every country in the world in their own backyard in white-ball cricket: Shastri
Notably, India were leading 2-1 against England when the final Test match of the series at Manchester had to be called off due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian camp.
Apart from success in Test cricket, during Shastri's tenure, India also registered T20I series wins in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and England.
"We've also beaten every country in the world in their own backyard in white-ball cricket. If we win the (T20) World Cup that will be the icing on the cake. There is nothing more," Shastri said.
"I believe one thing – never overstay your welcome. And I would say that in terms of what I wanted to get out of the side, I've over-achieved. To beat Australia away and to lead the series in England in a Covid year. It is the most satisfying moment of my four decades in cricket," he added.
We're going to give it everything in the T20 World Cup, says the 59-year-old
The flamboyant India coach said that he would love to sign off with an ICC trophy which has evaded the team during the Shastri-Kohli phase of Indian cricket.
"We're going to give it everything. Absolutely. We've got the team to win if we play to our potential. Above all we're going to enjoy it. Forget Test match pressure. T20 cricket is meant to be enjoyed. I plan on going out on a real high," he said.
"Yes, there will be sadness, it's ending, because I've worked with so many great players and personalities. We've had some great times in the dressing room. But, above all, the quality of our cricket and the results we've achieved have made it one heck of a journey," he added.