Indian head coach Ravi Shastri searched the International Cricket Council on Sunday for changing the qualifying criteria for the Mid-Cycle Test World Championship final.
Instead, India was at the top of the table with 360 points when Covid’s forced suspension from cricket prompted the world body to make unplayed matches null and void, making the contested points percentage the basis for qualifying for the World Cup. instead of the actual points earned.
As a result of the new system, India came down from the table with an away streak in Australia, followed by a home game against England on their schedule. Although Shastri reveled in the resilience his team demonstrated in qualifying for the WTC final at Lord’s against New Zealand, he argued the rules should not be changed midway through.
“Please don’t change the goal posts,” Shastri said. He continued, “I’m sitting at my home in Covid in October-November. You have more points than any other team in the world, 360 at this point. Suddenly, a week later, without playing cricket, a rule comes along that they use the percentage (point) system (PCT).
I love jokes! It feels good to bring smiles in these difficult times 🙌🏻 https://t.co/mzPe5MtItj
– Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) February 27, 2021
This way you go from # 1 to # 3 in a week. Good. It’s because countries don’t want to travel. I have two doors left… Sitting comfortably on top of the table, (but) they (read, ICC) said “no you have to go to Australia, you have to beat Australia”. “Now how many teams in 100 years or over the past 10 years have gone to Australia with the guarantee of beating Australia? If you don’t beat Australia, come home and beat England 4-0, you get almost 500 points, you’re still not qualified. So we had to go down every hole to find water. We found it and we earned our stripes to be in the final of the World Test Championship, the biggest trophy in the world, ”Shastri was at his best sarcastic.
A 3-1 series victory over England gave India the ticket to the WTC final against New Zealand. After beating Australia 2-1 in their backyard, they were to win the series at home against England by at least the same margin.
Virat Kohli and Co did more than that and stormed the final as a leader. As the curtain fell on the Test Series in Ahmedabad, they posted a message on the BCCI website: “WTC ICC Final, here we are: Team India”. “Well, we’re pretty relieved now that we’re in the final. The last two years, two and a half years, how we played, we deserved to be in this final, ”Kohli said.
The Indian captain has always tried to downplay the team’s aspirations in WTC. But deep in their minds, they took it as a badge of honor. Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and senior fast bowler Ishant Sharma explained that winning the WTC would be “equal to” winning the World Cup. But in mid-December last year, India’s trip nearly derailed after the 36 in Adelaide.
But India subsequently conquered Australia with a severely exhausted squad, with players like Washington Sundar and T Natarajan, for example, rising to the challenge, players who Shastri said would not have played test cricket. under normal circumstances. After losing the first Test to England, they bounced back in style again.
READ | Ravi Shastri’s journey: from champion of champions to coach of a champion team
A month earlier, those in the smart seats of the ICC had decided to cancel the canceled matches forced by Covid and to determine the WTC league standings solely from the matches played. This made the PCT won from matches played of the utmost importance. This made India’s job difficult. They suddenly slipped down from the WTC table, with a series of Down Under tests looming. India conquered Australia with a severely exhausted squad, with players like Washington Sundar and T Natarajan, for example, rising to the challenge, players who Shastri says would not have played test cricket under normal circumstances. . After losing the first Test to England, they bounced back in style again.
The team bonded well inside the bio-bubble, the coach said.
“I think the best thing that ever happened was talking about cricket among the team members and they didn’t have a choice so they were forced to do it and that was a big help,” Shastri said.
Indian players have been in the bubble for almost six months now. While life in a bubble is difficult, it also has an advantage. Mutual trust has grown. The bond has grown stronger.
“They (the players) have learned to understand the background, the mental state of others, where they come from, where they are in life, settled, unstable. It allowed them to open up a lot more to their colleagues, to discuss personal issues, you know, more freely, to gain more trust from the team members, a lot of positives, like you. mentioned, because of this bubble, ”observed the head coach. . From a coach’s perspective too, as Shastri mentioned, the approach has changed. Empathy has become the key word.