How Team India coach Ravi Shastri became 'Champion of Champions'
Team India's new coach Ravi Shastri shot to fame when he helped India win the Benson & Hedges World Series in 1985, the ''Champion of Championships" tag built his image and career. We look at the series and Shastri's big moment in Indian cricket.
Ravi Shastri and the Audi
India's former ODI batsmen is now the official coach of Team India. Shastri is the perfect candidate to lead Virat's young guns because he has the experience of winning the World Cup back in 1983 as part of 'Kapil's Devil's'.
Indian fans(who were at least 10-years-old) remember Shastri's World Series exploits in 1985 when he was declared the ''Champion of Champions" after India beat Pakistan in the final to clinch the Benson & Hedges Cup, the Audi presented to Shastri made him a phenomenon in India and he became the 'official' glamour boy of Indian cricket.
The 55-year-old former India player now has the arduous task of 'managing' Virat's India.
Ravi's ODI debut
Shastri made his ODI debut against England in 1981 at Ahmedabad under Sunil Gavaskar's captaincy.
He came in low down the order and managed to score just 19 before being run out, India lost the match by 5 wickets but Shastri was clearly in the right place at the right time.
Shastri made his World Cup debut as a 21-year-old in England, although he did not have a blazing World Cup scoring just 87 runs in 5 matches and picked up 4 wickets, Shastri's all-around talent was clearly visible.
Shastri's all-round skills were horned under Sunil Gavaskar's captaincy - the Bombay Brigade was the flavour of Indian cricket in the 80s.
Shastri's explosive skills were on display in the Benson & Hedges World Series in Australia. Shastri made a slow start in the Championship against Pakistan contributing just 2 runs even though India clinched the match easily by 6 wickets.
The Indian all-rounder failed to pick a wicket in his 10 overs but Gavaskar had faith in Shastri to deliver at the right time.
World Champions Down Under
In the next group match against England, Shastri the batsman failed again contributing just 13 runs as an opener as India put a competitive 235/9 in 50 overs. Shastri's bowling skills came to the fore as he picked up 3 vital England wickets in his 10-over spell with Mike Gatting being the prized catch. India beat England easily by 86 runs.
The 23-year-old Mumbai all-rounder was clearly loving the big stage at least with the ball.
Shastri's the all-rounder was on display in the third match against hosts Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. India won the toss and chose to field first.
It was clearly India's day as the hosts were bowled out for just 163 with Shastri bowling a tight line giving away just 34 runs in his 10-over spell and picking up Simon O'Donnell's wicket. Shastri opened the batting with Srikkanth and the Indian openers put together a 124-run patnership.
Shastri hit 51 studded with five boundaries in 94 balls falling to guess who? Simon O'Donnell.
India beat Australia by 8 wickets and moved to the Semi-final to take on New Zealand as firm favourites to lift the Cup.
Ravi Shastri the all-rounder
India's semi-final against New Zealand was Shastri's big moment in the tournament.
India won the toss and put New Zealand into bat. The Kiwis were in trouble right away as India's former coach John Wright fell in just the third ball to Kapil Dev for a duck.
Madan Lal & Shastri combined to break the back of the Kiwi batting line-up picking up seven wickets between them with Shastri finishing with 3 for 31 in his 10 overs.
New Zealand were shot out for 206 in 50 overs.
Shastri opened the Indian innings with Krish Srikkanth and even though Krish fell early, Shastri combined with Azhar & Vengsarkar to put India on a firm footing, hitting 53 in 84 with 2 boundaries.
India crossed New Zealand's 206 in just 43 overs beating Wright's team by seven wickets to move into the final.
The final of the Benson and Hedges Cup became a sub-continental affair down under as India and Pakistan were set to clash at the MCG. In the final day/night encounter Pakistan captain Javed Miandad won the toss and chose to bat first but the Pakistan batsmen had no answer to India's pace & spin attack spearheaded by Kapil & L Sivaramakrishnan.
The two bowlers picked up 6 vital wickets between them as Pakistan managed just 176/9. Shastri played his part keeping a tight line in his 10-over spell giving away just 44 runs and picking up 1 wicket(Tahir Naqqash).
As India came out to bat, captain Miandad lined up his potent pace attack led by Imran Khan but opener Ravi Shastri was India's 'Wall' in the final.
Shastri led from the front to score an unbeaten 63 in 148 balls with 3 boundaries as India demolished Pakistan by 8 wickets to lift the World Series Cup.
Ravi & Dhoni
Shastri's all-round skills and knowledge of Indian cricket will no doubt help Virat Kohli.
Both, of course, have worked together earlier when Shastri was the Director of the Indian cricket team in 2015 during Dhoni's tenure.
The Australian tour was Virat's big moment as a batsman. The Indian captain has Dhoni and Shastri to thank as they gave him the freedom to express himself on the field which was not taken too well by the Australian media.
A lot will depend on how Shastri 'partners' and 'mentors' Virat as India set their sights on the next World Cup in England.
Ravi in Virat's World
The former Indian captain and ODI opener has a clear understanding of the intrecacies of Indian cricket, he is perhaps the best man to partner Virat as Team India look to put the Kumble episode behind them and regain their hallowed postion in Test and ODIs.