Although India did not win any ICC trophy under Ravi Shastri’s management, they did achieve some historic feats, especially in Test cricket. Some of these include beating Australia twice on their own home turf and leading the five-match Test series against England in England last year. However, England levelled the rescheduled series this year after winning the fifth Test in a record-breaking manner.
Ravi Shastri was not part of the Indian dressing room ahead of the fifth Test last year as he contracted COVID-19 and was in quarantine. Former India coach Ravi Shastri was the first case of Covid-19 in the Indian camp, getting infected midway through the fourth Test.
However, it was after the team physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar had returned a positive result is when things got serious, putting the fifth Test in jeopardy. Parmar was in close contact with several Indian players, including Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma.
Although all players had returned a negative result, the results of the second round of testing were awaited, and after much deliberation, the BCCI and the ECB mutually decided to pull the plug on the Manchester Test.
Much has been said and spoken about the postponed Test, with many former England players being of the opinion that India wanted to rush out of England to be ready for the IPL which was starting in a few days’ time, which is why the decision to call off the Test was taken.
India would have played the 5th Test and returned victoriously: Ravi Shastri makes a bold claim
Shastri, who had previously spoken openly about the situation prevailing in the Indian team, has now stated that had the Covid scenario last year mellowed as it has now, not only would the Indian team have played the fifth Test but returned victorious as well.
“When I had Covid last year, I could have gone into the dressing room in 6-7 days. And I promise you if I had gone to the dressing room in 6-7 days, India would have played that Test match at Old Trafford and won it,” Shastri said in a press conference organised by Star Sports, the official broadcaster of Asia Cup 2022.
Since the series last year, Shastri has stepped down as India’s coach and did Virat Kohli from his position as captain of the team. India skipper Rohit Sharma had to give the Test a miss due to Covid and Jasprit Bumrah leading the team in his absence. The Test was eventually played out last month at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham, which England won and levelled the series 2-2.
• Ravi Shastri says India would have played the 5th Test last year and won the game if he was in the dressing room.
• England levelled the series 2-2 this year after winning the rescheduled Test.