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Ravi Shastri Reveals Biggest Gamble Of His Coaching Tenure Which He Executed During India’s Tour Of Australia 2019


India cricket coach, Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri revealed the biggest gamble of his coaching tenure as India’s head coach, which he executed during India’s tour of Australia in 2019. Shastri revealed how he changed the Indian openers for the 3rd Test during the series, replacing them with an uncapped player.

India defeated Australia in the Test series 2-1 during the 2019 tour. India won the 1st Test by 31 runs but lost the 2nd game by 146 runs. In the 3rd Test, India again bagged victory by 137 runs while the 4th Test ended in a draw, giving a 2-1 victory to India in the series.

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Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri (Image Credit: Twitter)

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Ravi Shastri Reveals Biggest Gamble Of His Coaching Tenure

During a conversation on a show titled ‘Bold and Brave The Ravi Shastri Way’, Shastri revealed that replacing KL Rahul Rahul-Murali Vijay with Mayank Agarwal-Hanuma Vihari as openers during the IND vs AUS 2019 Test series was his biggest gamble during his tenure as coach.

The former Indian player mentioned that after India vs Australia 2019 Test series was tied at 1-1 after 2 games, he decided to change the openers by replacing Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari for the same.

“We won in Adelaide. Went all the way down to the wire. Yes, we lost in Perth where the wicket suited their bowling, and they hammered us. And then came Melbourne… I think Jadeja had come back from injury, Ash was injured.

“So we had to pick another side altogether. 1-1 in the series, that was the biggest gamble for me in my tenure as coach. Our openers were struggling, so we said that putting them in for another Test will put them under immense pressure and give the opposition an upper hand,” Ravi Shastri said.

“So we decided to go in with 2 new players. Mayank Agarwal… you know, he had just landed 3 days ago and I told him you will be playing. Just don’t think it’s Australia and think it’s another game and you are carrying that form.

“And Hanuma opened and did a very good job. He might not have got the volume of runs but as an opening batter you know how tough that session can be. He roughed it out there, saw the new ball through. Rest is history,” Ravi Shastri added.

Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal. Image-BCCI/Twitter

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In the 2nd Test of that series, opener KL Rahul and Murali Vijay largely failed to perform. While KL Rahul scored 2 and 0 in both innings, Vijay scored 20 and 0, with both of them getting out for duck once in the match. In the 3rd Test, then head coach Ravi Shastri made debutant Mayank Agarwal open the innings with Hanuma Vihari. Agarwal smashed 76 and 42 in both innings, helping the team to get a good start and ultimately win the match.

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Rahul Dravid and Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri retired as India’s head coach in November 2021, after the conclusion of ICC T20 World Cup 2021. Although India could not win an ICC trophy under Shastri, he has been credited for India’s success in foreign conditions during his tenure, especially in Tests. Rahul Dravid is the new head coach for India.

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