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Uttam's Take! Shastri(ya) Sangeet: Secret of Team India's ODI success

By Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
September 10, 2014 08:24 IST
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Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

Rediff.com's Uttam Ghosh unravels the secret weapon which helped India get the better of hosts England in the ODI series -- Shastriya Sangeet.
Indian cricket's SOS man Ravi Shastri has turned out to be their saviour yet again!

Reeling after a 1-3 series defeat in the Tests in England, the Board of Control for Cricket in India sent their most-trusted confidante -- former all-rounder Ravi Shastri to change the team's fortunes by appointing him as the team director.

And the move seemed to have paid off with India managing to outclass England 3-1 in the ODIs before losing the one-off Twenty20 International.

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Shastri's impact proved to be a major factor in India's revival and his contribution was acknowledged by the players themselves.

"Ravi Shastri gave us a lot of confidence. He came in the team meeting and said a few words to the team which were very inspiring. He was also sitting with me in the bus when we were on our way to the stadium and he told me, 'khadoos khelna hai' (play a stubborn game)," Suresh Raina had said, after his match-winning century in the second ODI against England.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan also had a similar opinion.

"I would like to thank the entire support staff, especially Ravibhai (Shastri), who has given us a lot of confidence since he joined the team. A very big thanks to my family for standing by me," he said.

Ajinkya Rahane joined the bandwagon by attributing Shastri's technical inputs for bringing about a turnaround in team's fortunes.

"It hurt the team's chances that I was not converting my starts. Ravi Shastri was very helpful during this phase. He asked me to play the way I was playing and just asked for a little extra focus between 40 and 50.

"He said, "Once you cross 50, your instinct will take over," Rahane said.

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