Full name Ravishankar Jayadritha Shastri
Born May 27, 1962, Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra
Current age 54 years 300 days
Major teams India, Glamorgan, Mumbai
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox
|Test debut||New Zealand v India at Wellington, Feb 21-25, 1981 scorecard|
|Last Test||South Africa v India at Port Elizabeth, Dec 26-29, 1992 scorecard|
|ODI debut||India v England at Ahmedabad, Nov 25, 1981 scorecard|
|Last ODI||South Africa v India at Durban, Dec 17, 1992 scorecard|
|First-class span||1979/80 - 1993/94|
|List A span||1980/81 - 1993/94|
For over a decade, Ravi Shastri rendered yeoman service to Indian cricket in many ways. As an obdurate opening or middle-order batsman; as a left-arm spinner who was an integral part of the attack; and as long-time deputy to a couple of captains. In his time he was very much the glamour boy of Indian cricket, tall and good-looking and with an image to match. He had his detractors who charged that he batted too slowly, that he was selfish in his approach, that he continued to be in the team only because Gavaskar was captain. But the phlegmatic Shastri took all this in his stride, letting his performances on the field speak for themselves. In reality, as Shastri himself admitted, he was not particularly talented but had come up only through hard work.
Shastri might not have cut a dashing figure on the field as he pushed and prodded and grafted his way for runs and his bowling was little more than defensive as he pegged away on a good length without much variation. Of batsman who have played ten Test innings against Australia, only Eddie Paynter averages more than Shastri's 77.75. He was like Navjot Sidhu in reverse: he started off as a lower-order hitter, but ended up as the original stonewaller at the top of the order.
But no one could deny his immense value to the side, his commitment to the team's cause and his consistency had to be admired. He very rarely let the country down and was an excellent utility cricketer in the one-day game, good enough to win the coveted Champions of Champions title - and the Audi car that went with it - in the World Championship of Cricket in Australia in 1985. Despite his image as a cricketer with a defensive outlook, Shastri could really have a go at the bowling - as he did while equalling Gary Sobers' world record of six sixes in an over in a Ranji Trophy game in January 1985. A deep thinker and a shrewd strategist, he led India to victory in the one Test he captained - against West Indies at Madras in 1987-88.
Shastri - who played his last Test aged just 30 - is now a high-profile TV commentator.
Stats highlights from the fourth day in Ranchi, where Cheteshwar Pujara batted for ages and the Australians toiled like they haven't had to in many years
For the third time this home season, the team took the lead after its opposition put up 400 batting first but the Ranchi effort was special
Did Virat Kohli get his tactics right on the final day in Ranchi? Going by his fast bowlers' lines and R Ashwin's late introduction, the Indian captain took a few puzzling calls
On a pitch most suited for him on this tour, David Warner, the T20-specialist-turned-Test star, got his eye in and then played a wasteful shot. The grown-up knock came from another T20 specialist, instead: Glenn Maxwell
Sudhir Gautam, uber Tendulkar fan, is now rooting for a new sport
Three days ahead of the fourth Test, the surface at the HPCA Stadium wore a smattering of grass. Will that, or Mohammed Shami's availability, subject to fitness, change India's combination?
South Africa are set to play 14 Tests in nine months soon, so both fast bowlers, despite being sent home from New Zealand, should not lose hope
This Bangladesh are crazy if they think they can beat Sri Lanka in their own den. Right?
Under duress again, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim forged a match-winning partnership and contributed in the second innings to help Bangladesh create history