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“No matter who you may be, there should not be another occasion when we lose a match not trying to win it,” R Sridhar recalls an incident when Ravi Shastri was angry on MS Dhoni for his slow approach

India lost the ODI series 2-1 against England.

Former Indian fielding coach R Sridhar recalled an incident when then head coach Ravi Shastri was furious by MS Dhoni’s batting approach. He said that the cricketer-turned-commentator while pointing at the keeper batter said no matter who you may be, there should not be another occasion when we lose a match not trying to win it.

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“The head coach wasn’t going to let that one sail harmlessly by,” R Sridhar narrates how Ravi Shastri was furious after India’s loss to England in Headingley ODI in 2018 

India toured England for the ODI series in 2018. The visitors after winning the first game suffered two back-to-back losses and lost the series by the margin of 2-1. But what was the main talking point about the series’ loss was their 86-run loss in the second ODI.

Chasing the target of 323 runs, India was tottering at 140/4. Many expected MS Dhoni to do what he has been doing for a while but instead of playing with a high strike, the wicketkeeper-batter scored 37 off 59 balls and India eventually was bundled out for just 236 runs in 50 overs.

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Dhoni didn’t even show intent as he just kept knocking the ball. His knock included only two boundaries and he was dismissed in the 47th over of India’s innings.

Writing in his book, R Sridhar narrated how Ravi Shastri was furious at India for not putting up a fight. He said:  “Ravi, meanwhile, was seething. He was furious not because we lost by 86 runs, but how we lost the game, how we went down without putting up a fight. We didn’t go for the target, we didn’t go down throwing a punch, we just went down tamely The head coach wasn’t going to let that one sail harmlessly by.”

“No matter who you may be, there should not be another occasion when we lose a match not trying to win it,” Ravi Shastri’s words after India’s loss 

R Sridhar further narrated that Ravi Shastri was furious by MS Dhoni’s batting approach. He said that the cricketer-turned-commentator while pointing at keeper batter said no matter who you may be, there should not be another occasion when we lose a match not trying to win it.

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He said: “The decider was in Headingley, and we had a team meeting the previous day. The entire squad was in attendance, including all members of the support staff, and I knew Ravi was going to make a strong point. He was at his loudest and fiercest as he said, ‘No matter who you may be, there should not be another occasion when we lose a match not trying to win it. It will not happen under my watch. And if anyone does it, that will be the last bloody game of cricket they will play under my watch. You can lose a cricket game, no shame in that, but you will not lose like this.”

“MS was sitting right there in the front, and while Ravi’s words were meant for the team, his eyes were trained on MS. To the former skipper’s great credit, he didn’t flinch, he never broke eye contact with Ravi. He didn’t look here and there or fidget because one of his many admirable qualities is his ability to take the knocks, especially when he knows in his heart of hearts that he deserves them.” 

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