Ravi Shastri’s stint as India head coach was filled with many highs and a few lows. The achievement of winning back-to-back Test series wins in Australia, leading England 2-1 on their soil, finishing five years in a row as the No. 1 ranked Test team and reaching the knockouts of several ICC tournaments are just some of the accomplishments. Add to that the quality and confidence he instilled in players, and one can present a strong argument that Shastri is probably the best coach India have had in a long time.
In between there was the disappointment of not being able to win an ICC trophy. The 2019 World Cup, the 2021 World Test Championship, the 2021 T20 World Cup would go down as missed opportunities. For a coach who thrives on being and making his team the best in the world, it’s a tricky question asking him which loss hurt the most, but Shastri is not one to mince words and he answered this question with bravado.
“Losing the World Test Championship final for me was the biggest disappointment in my tenure because we didn’t deserve to lose that game. We should have drawn it at least. Because of the kind of cricket we had played for five years, to be No. 1 for five years is no joke,” the former India coach said on the ‘Bold and Brave: Ravi Shastri Way’ show on Star Sports.
“As much as you want to take about the preparation, the quarantine, the conditions that existed there, New Zealand already being in England… we had no business to lose that game. So that was disappointing to say the least.”
India suffered an eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand in the WTC final at Southampton in a rain-marred game. All-rounder Kyle Jamieson rocked the Indian batting order with a five-wicket-haul. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane all got starts but none could go past fifty. The second innings saw India getting bowled out for 170, setting New Zealand 140 to win, which the BlackCaps achieved with 15 overs left.