Full name Ravishankar Jayadritha Shastri
Born May 27, 1962, Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra
Current age 54 years 337 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.
Pick your two spinners for our all-time IPL XI and help put together the team with our panel of experts
ESPNcricinfo's review of where the teams stand at the halfway stage of the IPL season, and what they must do moving forward to clinch a spot in the playoffs
The best, the worst and everything in between from the past ten days of the IPL's tenth season
We celebrate Misbah and Younis' immeasurable careers by picking 15 of their most memorable moments
Younis Khan was also the oldest man to reach the landmark, as well as the sixth fastest
Two wins, six losses and a washout. With only five more matches to go for them, Royal Challengers Bangalore can lose another match and still make it to playoffs
To start with, stop thinking of players as batsmen, bowlers and allrounders; it's far more nuanced than that
Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha on preparations for England, and his team's recent success in Sri Lanka
Atif Mashal, the chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, talks about his plans for cricket in the country during his tenure
Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman Kane Williamson struck a 26-ball fifty and outpaced his more illustrious T20 shoo-ins