Thursday, January 27, 2011

Portraits: Ravi Shastri

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I first saw Ravi Shastri on TV during his innings of 93 at Delhi in 1982 against England. It took longer than the time Trott takes to get ready for the next delivery.

That 1982 series was also of the most dull Test Series of all time. It was so boring that Geoff Boycott preferred to go golfing instead of playing a Test. 

I think after that Test Shastri's status was upgraded to that of a "utility man".

In 3 years, he became a full fledged, Audi driving, Champion of Champions.

Ravi Shastri - Champion of Champions
Other Portraits

  1. Ricky Ponting
  2. Dilip Vengsarkar


Anonymous said...


For years, I was a lone supporter/fan of RS and took a lot of grief on his behalf from friends while watching and discussing matches. (not sure if you recollect)

When I woke up one day to read he hit 6 sixes in an over on the front page of 'loksatta', I was impressed.

Way back against England, I watched him from a few feet away fielding at the boundary at Wankhade when someone threw a glass bottle at him. RS continued fielding and with his back to the crowd, raised one leg, took the bottle his hand below the raised hip, and did an impromptu 'shove it up yours' Had not seen an Indian cricketeer do that before...

When he became 'C of C' in Australia, a friend pointed out the elegance with which he spoke and collected the audit keys (palm downwards and index finger and thumb stretched) - as against the sprawled upward palms posture of Kapil in 83. Small point, but indian cricketeers had come of age.

In my book, he was the best ever 'strategy' captain for India. (Years later we acquired our MSD who is still at best an 'instinct' captian.)

It was generally unexciting to watch RS bat, bowl and field. In the '85 champions trophy, his bowling created excitement by continually drawing batsmen out of their crease and beating them with his leg-spin. (perhaps Sadanand Vishwanant created the excitement)

It is nowadays a bit irritating to hear him commentate. He seems repetitive and full of cliches. But when his started commentary, he impressed many.

He looks older now, is slowly getting follically challenged, and is also fighting the battle of the bulge.

For me, the peak of RS (& defining moment) as a cricketeer was the tied test against Aus at Chepauk where he showed amazing temperament and talent hitting Greg Matthews and Bright (?) for runs and took us close to victory in the final session.....

- Anonymous

Anonymous said...

forgot to add - potrait skill are impressive. was not aware then...

you can probably touch this up a bit, and get a Manoj Prabhakar.. (chubbier cheeks, shorter face, thicker moustache?) or a Salim Malik (now that would be a stretch)

Golandaaz said...

Anon, your comment could be an Opinions post by itself!

I completely agree. I have always thought that RS brought something to Indian cricket may be in the same sense that Pataudi brought in his time. Both represented a certain sophistication mostly in thought and attitude.

Of course now it is very fashionable to bash RS the commentator but for a long time he was the only one who brought real insight while commenting on the game.

As for my art skills, during our time in college I mostly wasted hours spending time with anonymous guys in the Gym

But seriously, its a hobby recently acquired. I had done some water colors in the summer of 86. Used to visit an art teacher in Dadar. He taught me some techniques and I still use those