Dubai : Ravi Shastri, whose ability to weave sentences of pure poetry is second to none, delivered a mesmerising parting speech to the Indian players in the dressing room before signing off as the head coach of the team.
The video of his speech has been posted by the BCCI on its official portal with the caption: “Must Watch: A stirring speech to sign off as the Team India Head Coach.”
The speech reflects on Team India’s achievements in the last six to seven years, despite facing critics’ write-offs early on and later going through the bouts of Covid bubble for months together.
In an unblemished claim, Shastri termed the current Indian side as one of the greatest in the world.
“You guys as a team have exceeded my expectations with the way you have played. Over the last few years, you went across the globe, across formats and beat everyone. This makes you one of the great teams that has played the game. Not only a great Indian cricket team. Hear me out. This will go down as one of great teams that has played the game over the five-six years across all formats. The results are there to be seen,” Shastri said in his speech.
The highest point for Shastri as the head coach has been India beating Australia twice in Test series and leading the side to a 2-1 win against England, besides clinching limited overs matches and series, across the globe.
But one blemish will remain attached to Shastri. He could not win an ICC Tournament, though the team came closest to reaching the final of the World Test championship, which they lost to New Zealand.
Admitting the defeat also in the ICC T20 World Cup event, Shastri said it was a disappointment, but exuded confidence in the boys by saying that such opportunities will come in the future.
“Yes, we did not have a great World Cup. We could have won the ICC tournaments. But you will get another chance. You will be wiser, you will be more experienced when the next opportunity comes,” he added.
“In life, it is not about what you accomplish, it is about what you overcome. That overwrites everything else. So what you have gone through in the last two years with Covid and the hurdles that have come, you overcome everything and have been prepared to compete. That is the best thing I like about this Indian cricket team,” Shastri said.
At the end of the video, Shastri is seen hugging and greeting all the players and supporting staff including Bharat Arun and Sridhar.
Shastri will hand over the head coach baton to Rahul Dravid, whose first task on hands is facing New Zealand in the home series, which begins on November 17. For this, the BCCI is likely to announce a new T20I captain after Virat Kohli stepped down as captain of the T20I team.