India had a disappointing finish in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 as one of the tournament favourites failed to reach the semi-final stage of that tournament. Meanwhile, it was also the ending chapter of the Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri era in Indian cricket as the Head Coach Shastri just signed off from his role for the national team. Also, Kohli officially finished his T20I leadership role at the same time.
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli before beginning their partnership
Shastri took up the Head Coach role of the Indian national cricket team in July 2017, after the conclusion of the India tour of West Indies. Before that, the former Indian cricketer and 1983 World Cup winner Shastri was already played the Cricket Manager role of the Indian team during their tour of Bangladesh in 2007. Also, he was the Team Director of the Indian national cricket team between August 2014 and April 2016. So, Kohli and his boys were very familiar with Shastri.
During Shastri’s tenure as the Team Director, India reached back-to-back semi-finals in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and ICC World T20 2016. After the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, India had no Head Coach till the conclusion of the ICC World T20 2016. So, the Team Director Ravi Shastri played a vital role for the national team during that period.
On the other hand, before Shastri became the Head Coach of the Indian national cricket team, Virat Kohli was just in the early period of India’s limited-overs captaincies, but he had enough experience as a Test captain. While Kohli was already a superstar batter for the Indian team, his first ICC tournament as a captain ended as the runners-up in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
The era of Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri
From the beginning of the Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri era, there were very high expectations from the Indian national cricket team. Unsurprisingly, India were majorly the successful side in every international format during that period despite not winning any ICC trophy.
Apart from continuing India’s dominant performances at home, the Kohli-Shastri partnership also set the examples of their strong performances outside the Asian soil. This strong partnership has not only set up a tough Indian team, but they have also managed to build up a strong fearless reserve bench that can even handle the top hosts.
India’s notable performances during the era of Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri
India won the first-ever ODI series in South Africa during the 2017/18 tour.
Winning India’s first-ever T20I series in England during their 2018 tour.
India won their first-ever Test series in Australia in the 2018/19 tour.
Semi-finalists in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Incredible record of winning all five home Test series and suffering only one home Test match defeat out of 14 home Test matches (excluding the only home Test against Afghanistan where Ajinkya Rahane led the Indian team).
Runners-up in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (2019-21).
India have taken a 2-1 lead in the uncompleted five-match Test series in England during the 2021 tour as they are dreaming for their first Test series win in England since 2007.
The other notable performances under the Head Coach Ravi Shastri, where the captain Virat Kohli wasn’t present in the Indian team
India won the Asia Cup 2018. It was their first ODI Asia Cup trophy victory since 2010. (Rohit Sharma led the Indian team).
In their Australia tour in the 2020/21 season, India became the first away team since 1993 to win a Test series in Australia after coming from behind. It was also their second consecutive Test series win in Australia. (Captain Virat Kohli played only the first Test, Ajinkya Rahane led the Indian team in the next three Test matches)
During India’s tour of Australia 2020/21, India ended Australia’s proudest 32-year-long Test unbeaten streak at the Gabba (Brisbane) by defeating the hosts by three wickets. It was Australia’s first Test defeat at that venue since 1988. (Ajinkya Rahane led that Indian team).
Indian national cricket team’s performances during Ravi Shastri’s head coach tenure
Ravi Shastri as the Indian Head Coach
Ravi Shastri as the Indian Head Coach along with the captain Virat Kohli
(*excluding the complete India tour of Sri Lanka 2021. As the Head Coach Ravi Shastri was with the Indian team in the England tour at that period, Rahul Dravid played the Head Coach role for the Indian team which toured in Sri Lanka.)
During this period, India has also faced some big disappointments. Some of those were semi-final defeat during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, getting bundled out for India’s lowest Test innings total (36 during the pink-ball Adelaide Test in December 2020), getting bundled out for India’s lowest first-innings Test total at the away venues (78 at Leeds in August 2021), failing to qualify for the semi-finals in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 etc.
However, the Kohli-Shastri era majorly set some incredible examples of great comebacks from terrific falls. When India faced some tough moments during this period, their next steps were always bold and more dangerous. This is the major key point in this era.