'I Got Everything I Wanted, And Never Overstay Your Welcome,' Says India's Head Coach Ravi Shastri As His Tenure Comes To An End

Ravi Shastri believes he is retiring at the proper time, having "over-achieved" during his time as Team India's head coach.

'I Got Everything I Wanted, And Never Overstay Your Welcome,' Says India's Head Coach Ravi Shastri As His Tenure Comes To An End
'I Got Everything I Wanted, And Never Overstay Your Welcome,' Says India's Head Coach Ravi Shastri As His Tenure Comes To An End

With his term coming to an end after the T20 World Cup next month, India head coach Ravi Shastri admitted that there would be some "sadness," but he is confident that he is leaving at the correct time, having "over-achieved" during his time in charge. Shastri took over as head coach for the first time in 2017 and was reappointed in 2019. The T20 World Cup kicks off on October 17 in the United Arab Emirates. After testing positive for COVID-19, the 59-year-old is being quarantined in this city. In an interview with 'The Guardian,' Shastri stated that winning the T20 World Cup would be exceptional, but that the team had already accomplished extraordinary feats during his tenure. 

"I believe so because I've accomplished what I set out to do." Five years as No. 1 (in Test cricket), twice winning in Australia and once in England. 'For me, this is the ideal - to beat Australia in Australia and win in England in Covid times,' I told Michael Atherton earlier this summer. We're up 2-1 over England, and the way we played at Lord's and the Oval were incredible," the former player stated.

India was leading 2-1 against England when the fifth and final Test in Manchester was called off after a COVID-19 outbreak in the touring camp. India also won the T20 series in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and England during Shastri's tenure. 

"We've also beaten every country in the world in white-ball cricket in their backyard." It will be the cherry on top if we win the (T20) World Cup. "One thing I believe is that you should never overstay your welcome." And I'd say I've over-achieved in terms of what I wanted to get out of the side. In a COVID year, to beat Australia and lead the series in England? It's the most fulfilling moment of my cricket career, which spans four decades."

The flamboyant coach would love to sign off with an ICC trophy, which the team has not lifted during the Shastri-Virat Kohli phase. "We're going to give it everything. Absolutely. We've got the team to win if we play to our potential. Above all, we're going to enjoy it. Forget Test match pressure. T20 cricket is meant to be enjoyed. I plan on going out on a real high," he asserted.

"Yes, I'll be sad that it's coming to an end because I've worked with so many talented people. In the dressing room, we've had a lot of fun. Above all, the calibre of our cricket and the accomplishments we've achieved have made it an unforgettable ride" he stated. During his stint, he also discussed the rise of Jasprit Bumrah as a lethal Test bowler. 

"No one thought Jasprit Bumrah would be able to play Test cricket. He bowled with white balls. When I took over as coach, however, I wondered aloud, "How could I take 20 wickets overseas?" Because I had played so much Test cricket against the West Indies, I knew I needed four terrific fast bowlers. It started in South Africa in 2018 and we lost that fantastic series 2-1. I wanted to unleash Bumrah in that first Test in Cape Town.

"I bounced the idea off Virat months before and told the selectors: 'Do not unleash him in India. I don't want the world to see him in Test cricket before Cape Town.' "That was three years ago. Since then he's taken 101 wickets (in 24 Tests). It's remarkable."