Ravi Shastri should know that criticism does not mean people want this Indian team to lose
Shastri continues to build a “us” vs “them” narrative when it’s not completely necessary.
Not for the first time in the past few weeks, the men running the Indian cricket team (Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri) have made it clear that they are more invested in the success of their troops than anyone else on the outside. That, on face value, is of course true. The men playing the game do (should) care more about the results than the fans and critics watching it from afar. But let alone caring, in his latest interview, Ravi Shastri has gone to the extent of saying very few even derive joy when his team succeeds. In a blanket statement about critics and fans who raised disappointment during the tour of South Africa, Shastri said:
“Sometimes you feel in your country, people are happy when you lose.”
“Us” vs “them”, reiterated.
Shastri’s latest stint with the Indian team began after the drama that rivals soap operas. Anil Kumble’s ouster, Shastri’s re-application after the deadline was extended, the circus around Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid as consultants – by the time Shastri actually took over, so much had transpired off the field that even an India-Sri Lanka Test match felt like a welcome relief. But questions remained: wins against familiar opponents in familiar conditions will keep coming but will Shastri be able to mastermind famous overseas wins? Does he have the coaching nous to do it?