Former India head coach Ravi Shastri
will be regarded as a successful coach in the history of Indian cricket. Though he has
not won an ICC trophy, he left a legacy by guiding India to their Test series
wins in Australia and England, where India currently lead 2-1 in a COVID-19 postponed Test series. Though Shastri joined the Indian team in 2014 as
team director, he was appointed coach in 2017.

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In an interview with The Guardian,
Shastri revealed how he was appointed as the team director in 2014. Shastri
said he had received ‘no warning’ for the role.

“I had no warning. I was commentating at
the Oval during India’s [2014] tour of England and came off air to find six or
seven missed calls. ‘Seven bloody calls? What’s happened here?’. [The BCCI]
just said: ‘We want you to take over, starting tomorrow, at any cost.’ I told
them I’d have to speak to my family and commercial partners but they just said
they would sort all that out. And like that I was straight in from the
commentary box. You’ll see when I joined the setup [during the ODIs], I was
still in jeans and loafers. Instantly my job changed,” Shastri told The

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After Shastri served India as team
director for two years, former India captain Anil Kumble was appointed the coach
in 2016.  The legendary spinner, however,
stepped down as the head coach after the 2017 Champions Trophy. The development
saw Shastri become India coach and helmed the position for five years. Shastri
remained in the position till the T20 World Cup in the UAE last year.

Recalling his days with Team India,
Shastri said his first priority was to build a strong pace attack to help India win the overseas Test series.

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“We also had slingers [coaches with
dogsticks] in the nets smashing the ball in at 160kph from 16 yards. Guys had
no choice. There was no dodging, I’d stand behind the stumps to make sure of
that. No matter who the person was, he had to go through that. The slingers
would seriously let it rip and guys would look ugly. But you are meant to look
ugly in the nets. In England, you have to grind and earn your runs.

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“The same with the bowlers, we told them
to stick in because there is a five-wicket session at any given time in England
and at Lord’s and the Oval this decided the result. And we knew winning in
Australia or England wasn’t coming with spin, it was fast bowlers, guys with
aggression like Jasprit Bumrah. We were instrumental in making sure that guy
played Test cricket. You don’t even need express pace, you just need attitude.”