Former India captain heads to the same country like he did in 2007 after India's disastrous World Cup. Off-spinner Ramesh Powar recalls Shastri's influence on the team
There is a certain degree of similarity in Ravi Shastri's latest assignment in Bangladesh and his tour there in 2007 as cricket manager of the Indian team; both being post-World Cup series.
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Ravi Shastri. Pic/Getty Images
According to a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) press release, Shastri is Director of Cricket, but BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur was quoted as saying that Shastri has been named 'interim coach' by president Jagmohan Dalmiya.
All the same, Shastri is the off-field boss and one wonders what the fuss was all about in the build-up to the announcement. His appointment ought to have been a no-brainer. The 2007 tour of Bangladesh was a grand success, a far cry to the World Cup in the Caribbean where India lost their first game to Bangladesh.
Ramesh Powar, the off-spinner from Mumbai, who was part of that squad, recalled how Shastri made a big difference. "We had a preparatory camp in Kolkata where he (Shastri) showed his great communication skills and was very encouraging.
He was telling everyone to look ahead and not at what had happened. Earlier, there was a little communication gap and there was a 'should-we-ask, shouldn't-we-ask' situation. With Shastri, anyone could express their opinion," Powar told mid-day yesterday.
After figuring in 18 ODIs, Powar made his Test debut in the opening Test at Chittagong which was drawn. In the second Test of his career, he had second innings figures of 3 for 33 in 16 overs and never played Test cricket again.
But Shastri's talks left an impression on him. "I have never seen a coach walking around the net area and being so vocal in his encouragement. He never pushed you in every aspect of the game. I was not the best fielder in the team but he never concentrated on your weakness. For him, only your strengths mattered. He got everyone together and even took us out for dinners," said Powar.