Shastri backs Dravid to ‘raise the bar’

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File image of Ravi Shastri

Outgoing head coach Ravi Shastri feels his successor Rahul Dravid has inherited a “great team” and backed him to raise the bar with his wealth of experience as a player and coach.

The T20 World Cup game against Namibia was Shastri’s last day in the office as the head coach.

“There is one thing missing, that is (winning the) ICC tournament. They will get a chance and Rahul Dravid has come as a coach, I wish him all the luck.

“He is a great player, got the stature, he has done the yards as a coach, to further take this team over the next few years and raise the bar,” Shastri said at the virtual post-match media interaction on Monday.

Shastri achieved back to back Test series wins in Australia in his tenure but an ICC trophy eluded him and skipper Virat Kohli.

Shastri also heaped praise on outgoing bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar, whose tenures too ended with the team’s World Cup campaign.

“See, I call him (Arun) the guru of that (bowling) department… him and Sridhar have done an outstanding job, but I’ll come first to Bharat Arun. He has been in the coaching space for almost 20 years now, if not more.

“And not only that he has coached a lot of coaches, he has conducted a lot of courses, he has certified a lot of coaches and then come to do this job and that’s the prime reason I picked them…

“…because I wanted to pick people from my stable, which is the NCA and I happen to be the chairman there for sometime when the system was put in place. That is the time guys like Sridhar and Arun came into the fold, with Dav Whatmore there,” Shastri said.

Shastri said Arun’s biggest plus point was his communication.

“He will not change anyone’s technique for the sake of it, unless he has the solution or unless he explains to the guy (player) why he has to do it, for the sake of doing it, he won’t.

“He instilled professionalism in the unit by his communication skills, to let them know that this is what we expect from a bowling team not a bowling individual, that is not easy, that is something specific that he did, he ensured that happened.”

Under Sridhar’s guidance, Shastri felt the team became one of the best fielding units in the world.

“And then I’ll go to Sridhar, who I think is one of the best coaches in the world (and) he is outstanding. All I had to tell him was I want this to be one of the best Indian fielding sides ever, that was my diktat to him and said in every match, I want to see the bar raised….

“….there was no messing around, it had to be done and similarly with Arun as far as professionalism came to bowling as a unit, it took time, but it happened and hence the results,” added Shastri. 



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