Ravi Shastri, head coach of the Indian Cricket Team was rendered emotional after India pulled off a historic win at the Gabba, and clinching the four-match Test series 2-1. He invoked comparisons with the historic 1983 World Cup win when India won the Test series in Australia in 2018-19. This time, he was rendered speechless.
Shastri revealed what he said to his players before the start of the final day’s play at the Gabba, asking his players to give it their all.
I just said. “Today is the last day of the tour. When we cross the boundary lines, this India badge… don’t forget it. You are playing for India, put your life on the line [jaan laga do]. It’s the last day, give it everything. After that, whatever happens, happens.”
“Look, the coach’s work is to mentally prepare the boys. Their mindset and thought process should be clear. No point in overcomplicating things,” Shastri added. “If you keep your game simple and give attention to the basics… Coach sits in the dressing room, the boys go out and fight. The cricket they’ve played, there is no need to make any statement. Cricket will talk,” he added.
Ajinkya Rahane, who took the captaincy duties from Virat Kohli after the latter was granted a paternity leave stated that their main aim this series was to fight it out until the very end. He heaped praise on Rishabh Pant who played attacking cricket post-tea to chase down the target.
“We spoke about playing simple cricket. What we did on this tour was [we] fought really hard and the message was all about fighting till the end and not thinking about the result,” Rahane said. “Yes, Ravi bhai mentioned that we were looking to play session by session. Shubman Gill the way he batted in the last three Test matches was really good. I mean, he was really composed, really calm under pressure. Today everyone saw what he can actually do. His 91 set the game up for us,” he said.
“During lunch we were taking one session at a time. During tea time, I don’t know if we sent any message to Rishabh [Pant]. But He was always looking to chase that total down. Credit to him, the way he batted, he took that risk, he took the Aussies on. His innings and [Cheteshwar] Pujara’s innings actually gave that platform,” Rahane added.
He’s a good listener: Shastri on Pant
Rishabh Pant earned the man of the match award after scoring an unbeaten knock of 89 runs, earning him praise from his coach, Ravi Shastri.
“He’s a good listener. He listens, he understands,” Shastri said. “He realises what’s his natural game but he knows he has to strike the right balance between caution and aggression. No one wants to change the natural ability of anyone as a coach, but sometimes you can be reckless. This game teaches you to learn. And he’s shown it in both the Tests, 90-odd  in Sydney… if he had stayed there for another 45 minutes we’d have had a different story to tell. He was disappointed with that shot and learnt from that. He made sure he was there at the end today, so fabulous job,” he added.