In his book, former India fielding coach R Sridhar recalls an incident in which former India head coach Ravi Shastri was furious at MS Dhoni for his sluggish knock in the ODI series against England in 2018.
The book “Coaching Beyond:” by R Sridhar, a former India fielding coach, has just been released. The book “My Days with the Indian Cricket Team” gives readers a look inside the Indian team’s locker room with a lot of stories, insights, and shocking revelations.
The most recent of these stories is the one in which former India head coach Ravi Shastri was furious at MS Dhoni for his sluggish knock in the ODI series against England in 2018 while he was with the team.
India had gone on a full tour of England that included five Test matches. Three Twenty20 Internationals, and as many One Day Internationals. India continued their momentum by winning the first ODI match by eight wickets in their chase of 269 after winning the T20I match 2-1.
However, the team led by Virat Kohli lost the second game by a significant 86 runs. Sridhar revealed, recalling the match and the defeat. That Shastri was more concerned with Dhoni’s approach in the chase than the margin of loss or the result itself.
After Joe Root’s “bat-drop” score of 113 runs, India’s target of 323 was set. But Kohli and Suresh Raina’s 80-run partnership kept them in contention.
However, Dhoni was left with the majority of the chase. After their dismissals in a span of five overs and Hardik Pandya’s departure for just 21 runs. From 66 balls, India still needed to score 133 runs to win.
“When Suresh Raina and Virat were batting, we were still in the game. But we lost wickets, leaving MS with just the bowlers for the final 10 overs.
We only managed to score 20 runs in the following six overs. Despite needing to score roughly 13 runs per over in the final 10 overs. He abruptly left the room.
MS scored 10,000 runs in ODIs during that inning, a noteworthy accomplishment. Sridhar noted in his essay, “We were all happy for him. But we also wanted to know why he hadn’t even made a nominal attempt at the aim.
Dhoni was run out in the 47th over after scoring 37 runs off 59 balls and hitting just two boundaries. India was ultimately defeated by 236 runs.
Sridhar made it clear that Shastri was not upset about the defeat; rather. He was dissatisfied with Dhoni’s approach to the chase. He was aware that the former captain of India would not be able to hide his anger.
After that, Sridhar made public the ferocious dressing-room speech that was delivered in Headingley prior to the final match of the series. Although it was said during the team meeting, it was directed directly at Dhoni.
“Ravi, on the other hand, was enraged. He was furious not only because we lost the game by 86 runs but also because we gave up without fighting.
The day prior, we had a team meeting, and the decision-maker was at Headingley. The fact that the entire squad, including the support personnel, was present gave me confidence that Ravi would make a compelling case.
He was at his loudest and fiercest when he declared, “No matter who you may be, there should not be another moment when we lose a match without striving to get it.”
It won’t happen under my supervision. And if anyone does, that will be their final game of bloody cricket they will play under my watch. Losing a game is not embarrassing.
Sridhar made the observation that despite the fact that Shastri did not address Dhoni. During his ferocious motivational speech, he made sure to keep eye contact with the former captain of India throughout.
Dhoni, on the other hand, maintained his composure and made sure he followed every word the coach said. Despite the fact that Shastri’s speech would have rattled any other cricketer.
While MS was seated directly in front of Ravi. Who was speaking to the team, the former skipper, to his credit, didn’t flinch and avoided making eye contact with Ravi.
The former India fielding coach continued, “One of his many excellent attributes is his capacity to accept blows. Especially when he believes in his heart of hearts that he deserves them. He didn’t flit around or make any other movements.
Dhoni would, incidentally, play a similar knock against England a year later, this time during the World Cup 2019. Dhoni went unbeaten on 42 off 31 balls as India fell 31 runs short of their daunting target of 338 with India needing 71 runs to win the final five overs.
Experts and fans mocked Dhoni’s strategy. While some believed it was done to prevent Pakistan from reaching the semifinals, it was also done to keep India’s net run rate from falling.
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