Ravi Shastri recalls his Test debut at Wellington exactly 39 years ago

Updated: Feb 21, 2020, 10:26 IST | Agencies | Wellington

Shastri was playing the Ranji Trophy quarter-final in Kanpur and according to a report published by this newspaper, he got the news of his maiden national call-up from the gate-keeper of the guest house where the Mumbai team was put up

Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri

Wellington: India's head coach Ravi Shastri recalled the days when he made his international debut exactly 39 years ago. In a conversation with Cheteshwar Pujara on the eve of the first Test between India and New Zealand here, Shastri said that he would have never believed that he would be visiting the same venue in India colours where he had made his international debut.

"I would have never believed I would come to the same ground, the same venue, playing against the same opposition. I went into the same dressing room, nothing has changed. I made my debut here 39 years ago. I wouldn't have believed it to the day, 21st of February, I would be back after 39 years," said Shastri on the eve of the opening Test here. Incidentally, Shastri was flown to New Zealand on SOS basis after Dilip Doshi had got injured during the tour of Australia.

Shastri was playing the Ranji Trophy quarter-final in Kanpur and according to a report published by this newspaper, he got the news of his maiden national call-up from the gate-keeper of the guest house where the Mumbai team was put up.

It was Shastri's left-arm spin that impressed one and all on a seaming track as he ended with figures of 3-54 and 3-9. India lost that Test match by 62 runs but net gain was a gritty all-rounder, who served the national team for the next 11 years across 80 Tests and 150 ODIs. "I reached New Zealand at 9:30 pm [on the eve of the Test]. The late Bapu Nadkarni came at the airport to pick me up. The Indian team was at the high commission for their official. I went straight to the hotel room. There was no one there. So I crashed out. The next morning, Sunny lost the toss, we were put into the field. There you go, I was playing the game straight away," he recalled.

"I think I was nervous, like anyone playing his first game. But I bowled tidily and I got the wicket of Jeremy Coney, which gave me confidence," he added.

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