Former all-rounder and current head coach of the Indian cricket team, Ravi Shastri celebrates his 58th birthday on Wednesday (May 27, 2020). Back in his playing days, Shastri was a vital cog in the Indian side who guided the side to several prominent victories. He was a solid batsman in the top order, and his left-arm spin bowling was a headache for many oppositions too. He, in fact, was also the part of the Indian squad which lifted the World Cup in 1983. As Shastri turns a year older, we'll revisit some of his best batting performances. Still Believe it was India's Loss Not to See Amol Muzumdar in Whites, Says Ravi Shastri.
Shastri came into the side predominantly as a left-arm spinner. However, his batting prowess came out with time and soon we saw him opening the batting for the Indian team. Speaking of his record with the willow, the right-handed batsman has 3830 and 3108 runs from 80 Test matches and 150 ODIs to go with 280 international wickets. Notably, Shastri was one of that rare breed of Indian batsmen at that time who liked to play in the pace-friendly discussion. Well, Shastri certainly played numerous brilliant Knocks in his 11-year-old international career as and below, we'll look back at some of them.
102 Vs Australia in Indore
Opening the batting, Shastri played a sensible knock in the fifth ODI of Australia's 1984 Tour of India. After the departure of opening partner Ghulam Parkar, the home side was in a bit of trouble. However, Shastri assessed the conditions well and played a stellar knock. His resilience also allowed the other batsmen to play aggressive cricket. Shastri went on to score his maiden ODI ton as India posted 235/ in the first innings. Australia, however, put up a good show with the bat and registered a six-wicket victory.
145 Vs England in Mumbai
England were bundled out for mere 195 runs while batting first in the opening Test of 1984 Test series. The track looked a paradise for the bowlers. However, that wasn't the case when Shastri came into bat. He tormented the visiting-side bowlers in the Mumbai heat and brought up his first hundred in Test matches. Riding on his efforts, India posted 465/8 and later won the game by eight wickets.
101 Vs Sri Lanka in Nagpur
The Men in Blue were asked to bat at the tricky Nagpur track in the first ODI of Sri Lanka's 1990 Tour of India. However, Shastri wasn't going to put his guards down. The right-handed batsman didn't put a foot wrong and gave his side a brilliant start. He went on to score a brilliant century and helped India post 245/5. Sri Lanka tried to make a fightback in the second innings but lost the game by 19 runs.
187 Vs England in London
Another Ravi Shastri special came in the third Test of India's 1990 Tour of England. Wickets were tumbling down at the other end in the first innings of the game but Shastri was solid as a rock. The swinging deliveries of the England pacers couldn't breach the talismanic opener's defences as Shastri just didn't rescue his side but also played a sensational knock of 187 runs. His efforts help India post 606 runs but the game was drawn later.
206 Vs Australia in Sydney
The talismanic batsman was certainly at his prime during the 3rd Test of India's 1992 Tour of India. Opening the batting, Shastri's brilliance neutralized the effect of the brand new red cherry as he got India off to a flying start. Be it pacers or spinner, no one was able to send Shastri to the pavilion. Well, the opener eventually got out but not before scoring stupendous 206 runs. The game, however, resulted in a draw.
After bidding adieu to the game in 1992, Shastri still continued to impress the cricket fans, not with the bat but a microphone in hand. His strong voice described some or prominent moments of Indian cricket like India's triumph in 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 World Cup. Shastri has also overseen a great period as India's head coach and his next target would be guiding in Blue of title in ICC T20 World Cup 2020.