Monday, 31 August 2015



Ravishankar Jayadritha Shastri (born 27 May 1962) is former Indian cricketer and acting Director for the Indian cricket team since August, 2014. He is the Indian national team in both Test and One Day matches between 1981 and 1992. Although he started his career as a left arm spin bowler, he later transformed into a batting all rounder. Ravi Shastri's family is originally from Mangalore in Karnataka however he was born and brought up in BombayAs a batsman, he was essentially defensive with his trademark "chapati shot" a flick off the pads, but he could raise his strike rate when required. Due to his above average height ''he stood 6' 3" tall'' and an upright stance, he had a limited number of shots against fast bowling, but was able to put the lofted shot to good use against spin bowling. Ravi Shastri played either as an opening batsman or in the middle order. The highlight of his career was when he was elected Champion of Champions in the World Championship of Cricket in Australia in 1985. In the same season, he equalled West Indian Garry Sobers's record of hitting sixes in an over in first class cricket. He was regarded as a potential captain, but his image outside cricket, injuries and tendency to lose form at crucial times meant that he captained India in only one Test matchIn domestic cricket, he played for Bombay and led them to the Ranji Trophy title in his final year of playing. He also played four seasons of county cricket for Glamorgan. He was forced to retire aged 31 due to a recurring knee injury. He now does commentary on behalf of BCCI in the matches that India plays. In 2014, he became the director of Indian Cricket team for a period of eight months from India's tour of England till the World Cup 2015.

Personal Life and Early Days:

Ravi Shastri's family from Mangalore. This family has been reported to have had its ancestral temple, the Shri Vishnumurti Temple in the village Karvalu, a small village in the Yarlapadi in Karkala taluk. He was born and brought up in Bombay. His father, M. Jayadratha Shastri, was a medical doctor; whose father was Dr M C Shastri, a well known Ayurvedic physician of Mangalore. This family is reportedly known as a family of physicians, and had a strong academic tradition. His mother, Prof. Laksmi Shashtri was a professor in National college, Bandra. Ravi Shastri studied at Don Bosco High School, Matunga. It was only as a teenager that he took to cricket seriously. Ravi Shastri, playing for Don Bosco ''Matunga'', reached the final of the 1976 inter school Giles Shield, losing to St Mary's, whose lineup included two future Ranji players, Shishir Hattangadi and Jignesh Sanghani. The next year, under Ravi Shastri's captaincy, Don Bosco won the Giles Shield in 1977, the first time in the history of this school. At school, his coach was BD Desai, once a Tatas and Dadar Union player. While Don Bosco was not traditionally a major force in schools cricket, the R.A. Podar College, where Ravi Shastri later studied commerce, produced many good cricketers. Vasant Amladi and, in particular, VS "Marshall" Patil, were integral figures in Ravi Shastri's development as a cricketer. In his last year at the junior college, he was selected to represent Bombay in the Ranji trophy. At 17 years and 292
days, he was then the youngest cricketer to play for Bombay. under 19 team of india was scheduled to tour Pakistan in 1980-81. Ravi Shastri was included in the coaching camp at the last minute by the National Coach Hemu Adhikari. Ravi Shastri captained one of the two teams in a trial game and was then asked to lead the Indian Under 19 team. The tour, however, was cancelled. The team later went to Sri Lanka, but the games were frequently interrupted by rain. His only notable achievement in his first two Ranji seasons were bowling figures of 6-61, which he took against Delhi in the 1979-80 Ranji final that Bombay lost. While he was playing against Uttar Pradesh at Kanpur in the next season, he was called up to the squad touring New Zealand to stand in for the injured left arm spinner Dilip Doshi. Ravi Shastri arrived in Wellington the night before the first Test. His first over in Test cricket was a maiden to the New Zealand captain Geoff Howarth. In the second innings, he took 3 wickets in four balls, all to catches by Dilip Vengsarkar, to bring a quick close to the New Zealand innings. In the third Test his seven wickets won him the man of the match award, while his 15 wickets in the series were the highest for either side.


Ravi Shastri had moved up from tenth position in the batting order to being an opening batsman. "His calm, sensible batting lower in the order", wrote Wisden, commenting on his first series,"raised promise of his developing into a useful all rounder, and his fielding too was an asset". By the end of his career, he had batted in every position from one to ten. By his own admission, he ignored his bowling in favour of his batting. This was reflected in his performances. However, his figures of 9-101 in the season opening 1981 Irani Trophy stood as a tournament record for nearly twenty years. It was the failure of the regular openers Pranab Roy and Ghulam Parkar that led to Ravi Shastri being made to open at the Oval against England in 1982. He distinguished himself by scoring 66 runs in that match. An injury in the webbing of his hand ruled him out of four of the Tests to be played in Pakistan. Forced again to open in the final Test at Karachi, against the fast bowling of Imran Khan ''then at the peak of his career'', he scored his first Test hundred. He later made another hundred against the West Indies in AntiguaIndian Cricket was impressed enough to suggest that, given time, he could become one of the best batsmen in the Indian team. Ravi Shastri was not selected to play in most of the important matches in the 1983 World Cup. In the series against the West Indies later that year, he again distinguished himself with his bold effort in batting against the domineering West Indian pace bowlers. In October 1984, India toured Pakistan for the third time in six years. The Lahore Test saw India collapse to 156 against Pakistan's 428, and follow on. India went into the last day trailing by 92 with six wickets in hand but were saved by a fifth wicket partnership of 126 between Ravi Shastri and Mohinder Amarnath. Ravi Shastri scored 71, while Amarnath made 101*. Ravi Shastri was even more successful in the next Test at Faisalabad, where he scored 139 and shared a stand of 200 with Sandip Patil. The last Test and the remainder of the tour were cancelled because of the assassination of Indira
GandhiThere were already signals that Ravi Shastri was being groomed as a future captain. Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar was coming to the end of his career and Kapil Dev, who had led India in the previous season, was expected to succeed him. Ravi Shastri appeared to be the next in line. He led the Young India side to Zimbabwe in early 1984. Against the touring English side in November, he led the India Under 25 to an innings win the first defeat of England in a tour match in India for fifty years. Around this time, Ravi Shastri also began to open the innings regularly in one day games. He scored 102 against Australia in October, India's second hundred in ODIs, and made the same score against England at Cuttack in December. Ravi Shastri had stood in for Gavaskar and opened with Srikkanth in two matches of the 1983 World Cup. The third time that they opened was at Cuttack and they set a world record of 188 for the first wicket. Later in the season, this partnership was to form the foundation for the Indian triumph in the WCC in Australia. Ravi Shastri's success continued in Test matches against England. In the Bombay Test his 235 run stand with wicket keeper Syed Kirmani led to victory for India. His 142 improved upon the 139 at Faisalabad as his highest score. In the third Test at Calcutta, Shastri made 111 in 357 balls and 455 minutes, though his innings was heavily interrupted by rain. With Mohammad Azharuddin he added 214 for the fifth wicket, another Indian record. When India started the second innings late in the final day, he was sent in to open, thus becoming one of the few batsmen to bat on all five days of a Test. Ravi Shastri set another record for Bombay against Baroda in a West Zone Ranji match. His first hundred came up in 72 minutes and 80 balls and included nine fours and four sixes. The second took just 41 minutes and 43 balls. His 123 ball, 113 minute 200* became the fastest double hundred in first class history, beating the previous record by 7 minutes, and included 13 fours and 13 sixes. Six of the sixes came off a single over of the left arm spinner Tilak Raj. In terms of the number of sixes, it bettered the 58 year old Indian record of CK Nayudu who had struck 11 sixes against a touring MCC team at Bombay Gymkhana in 1926-7. Ravi Shastri's unfinished sixth wicket stand of 204* with Ghulam Parkar, who contributed only 33 to the partnership, took only 83 minutes. In Baroda's second innings, Ravi Shastri took two wickets in four overs.

Last days in cricket career:

In the second final against Australia Ravi Shastri worsened the knee injury. At the later stages of the innings he was forced to stand and slog. After a few quick runs, it ended in an inevitable mishit to cover. He missed the remaining two Test matches, both of which India lost. For a while it seemed doubtful that he would be able to play the World Cup which was being hosted by Australia and New Zealand, but was included at the last moment. In their second match, India chased 238 to win in 50 overs against Australia. A rain interruption meant that the target was revised to 236 in 47 overs. Ravi Shastri took 67 balls for his 25, India went on to lose by one run. He was blamed for the defeat and dropped from the remaining matches of the tournament. In the next season, South Africa hosted India for their first ever tour. Ravi Shastri opened in all four Tests and struggled to score runs. The only bright spot was a 16 ball 27 not out, in India's one day win at Centurion park. He had batted down the order in the one day matches of this series. In reference to the World Cup innings against Australia, he commented later that for once he knew what his exact role was. India hosted England immediately after the South Africa series. The knee injury returned before the series and put Ravi Shastri out of cricket for eight months. He never again represented India in international cricket. Bombay breezed through the West Zone league of the 1993-94 Ranji trophy winning all four matches a very rare feat by big margins. With the Test players away, Ravi Shastri captained the young team in the knockout matches. Bombay defeated Haryana by an innings and 202 runs in the pre quarter final but ran into trouble against Karnataka in the next round. Against 406, Bombay lost their first six for 174, before Ravi Shastri and Sairaj Bahutule added 259 in six hours. Ravi Shastri's individual score was 151. Bombay survived the best part of the last day to win on first innings lead. Ravi Shastri scored 612 runs in the season and took 17 wickets at 15. Bombay went on to beat Bengal in a low scoring final to lift the Ranji trophy. It was their first championship since the famous win against Delhi nine years ago. In September 1994, while in Sri Lanka covering the Singer World Series, Ravi Shastri announced his retirement from first class cricket.

Post retirement:

Ravi Shastri married Ritu Singh In 1990. He made his debut as a TV commentator with the World Masters Tournament in Mumbai in March 1995. In 2003, he collaborated in starting up Showdiff Worldwide, a celebrity management company. He has since served ICC and BCCI in temporary official capacities and as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Some of his temporary shows, such as Super Spells, still run Star Sports and related channels. He and fellow commentator Sunil Gavaskar ended their long term associations with ESPN STAR Sports in April 2008 as they were contracted by the BCCI as commentators for the lucrative Indian Premier League which is being broadcast by rival network Sony Max. 2008 also held great significance for Shastri as he became the father of Aleka at the age of 46. He temporarily coached the Indian cricket team for their 2007 Bangladesh tour.

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