Former India coach Ravi Shastri was known for his unique coaching antics. The former India all-rounder always wanted his team to put up a fight no matter the situation and he took pride in the way his boys played. Everyone fondly remembers Shastri’s words (wear this 36 as a badge on your shoulders) after India got out for 36 in the second innings of the first Test during the 202-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy.
But the former India coach never wanted his team to go down without putting up a fight. However, India put a similar kind of performance (which Shastri would not like) against England in the second ODI of the three-match series during their 2018 tour. In the chase of 323, the Men in Blue got bowled for 236, losing the game by a massive 86 runs.
India were not down and out from the beginning as Virat Kohli (45) and Suresh Raina (46) had kept them alive. However, after the two batters fell, India almost surrendered with MS Dhoni still at the crease. The wicketkeeper batter scored a 57-ball 39 and failed to finish the game for the team. Now, India fielding coach R Sridhar has revealed that Shastri was miffed after the defeat and schooled the players during the team meeting.
“We were in the hunt when Virat and Suresh Raina were batting, but as we lost wickets, MS was left with only the bowlers for company going into the last 10 overs. Uncharacteristically, he shut shop, and even though our required rate in the last 10 was nearly 13 an over, we only managed some 20 runs in the next six overs. That was the innings when MS got to 10,000 ODI runs a very significant milestone. We were all thrilled for him, but we also wanted to know why he hadn’t made even a token attempt at the target," Sridhar wrote in his book.
“Ravi, meanwhile, was seething. He was furious not because we lost by 86 runs, but how we lost the game, how we went down without putting up a fight. We didn’t go for the target, we didn’t go down throwing a punch, we just went down tamely The head coach wasn’t going to let that one sail harmlessly by," he added.
“The decider was in Headingley, and we had a team meeting the previous day. The entire squad was in attendance, including all members of the support staff, and I knew Ravi was going to make a strong point. He was at his loudest and fiercest as he said, ‘No matter who you may be, there should not be another occasion when we lose a match not trying to win it. It will not happen under my watch. And if anyone does it, that will be the last bloody game of cricket they will play under my watch. You can lose a cricket game, no shame in that, but you will not lose like this.”