'Best team' comment didn't come up in meeting, says Ravi Shastri

Nov 10, 2018, 07:33 IST | Clayton Murzello

Coach Ravi Shastri rubbishes reports that said a CoA member told him that people should be the best judge of how this team compares with the past lot

'Best team' comment didn't come up in meeting, says Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri has rubbished a news agency report that quoted an unnamed BCCI official as saying that a member of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) told the Indian cricket team's head coach that the people should judge whether this is India's best travelling team in the last 15 years. Shastri made the 'best in 15 years' comment after India lost the fourth Test against England at Southampton.

India had a chance of evening out the scoreline in Southampton since they won the third Test at Trent Bridge. In the end, England won the Pataudi Trophy at the Oval 4-1.

"The truth is that it [15-year comment] didn't even come up. The so-called source needs to do some target practice. He is aiming Paris, hitting Tokyo," Shastri told mid-day.

India coach Ravi Shastri during a net session at Edgbaston in Birmingham last August. Pic/Getty Images
India coach Ravi Shastri during a net session at Edgbaston in Birmingham last August. Pic/Getty Images

When asked whether he was disappointed that the contents of a confidential meeting between the team's core group (Shastri, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane), the CoA, chief selector MSK Prasad and three top notch BCCI employees were leaked, Shastri shot back: "Too bad. In this job, nothing disappoints you. It's part of the run." The former India all-rounder and captain called it an "excellent meeting." The meeting was held in Hyderabad during the India v West Indies Test played at Uppal, where India won the series 2-0.

India are due to tour Australia later this month, where they play a T20 series, a four-match Test series and five one-day internationals. India are yet to win a Test series Down Under.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma

The closest they came in recent times was in 2003-04 when the series ended 1-1. India, for the first time on Australian soil, drew first blood in Adelaide, but lost the next Test in Melbourne. They drew the final Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where they had Australia on the mat for a good portion of the game.

Forty-one seasons ago, Bishan Singh Bedi's team lost the first two Tests only to come back and win at Melbourne and Sydney. But they lost the deciding Test at Adelaide against an Australian team led by Bob Simpson. In 1980-81, Sunil Gavaskar's Indians drew the series 1-1.

The story that didn't go down well
"Ravi initially started off by saying that the Indian media always criticises its own players and how this is one of the best ever teams in the last 15 years," an official present in the meeting told PTI.

Shastri's reference to criticism was related to a verbal altercation that Kohli had with a journalist in England after the team lost the Test series 1-3. The skipper, when questioned about Shastri's comment in England, asked for the journalist's view on it. When the scribe said he wasn't quite convinced about the coach's assertion, Kohli snapped back, "That's your opinion, thank you."

"When Ravi (Shastri) went on about how great this current team is, one of the CoA members just cut him short," the official recollected. "The CoA member told him, 'Let's stick to the agenda of the meeting and discuss Australia tour policies. You don't decide if the team is the best travelling side in the world. Let people be the judge'," the official said.

Also Read: Let People Judge If This Is The Best Travelling Team: CoA Tells Ravi Shastri

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