Exclusive with Ravi Shastri: Exit interview with the Indian team director after the World Cup

Slip between the cup and the lip: Ravi Shastri chilling out poolside after landing in India. Image source: 1

Slip between the cup and the lip: Ravi Shastri chilling out poolside after landing in India post the semifinal loss. Image source: 1

A couple of days after the Indian team landed, aspiring journalist and social media bottom dweller paajivspunter caught up with BCCI evangelist Ravi Shastri post the World cup final, chilling next to a pool in a hotel. Shastri was keeping a low profile, counting his last days as team director and was eagerly looking forward to his next assignments. Here are the excerpts of the interview:

PVP: Hello Ravi, you must be satisfied with India’s performance in the World cup. Tell me, was there any need for those football training drills especially after so many injuries?

RS: I’m pleased with our performance. We did well. The team benefitted from the drills- all of them were seeing the ball like a football by the time the cup ended.

PVP: What were your specific preparations going into Australia this time?

RS: We were prepared to get citizenship. Virat sent his application in 2012 itself and even spoke their language. In fact, he even participated in the voting process but was disappointed that he could not get inked like the Bachchans.

Up goes the finger: This was unfortunately referred upstairs. Image source: 2

Up goes the finger: This was unfortunately referred upstairs. Image source: 2

Fastest finger first: The happy family expressing delight after casting their vote. Image source: 3

Fastest finger first: The happy family expressing delight after casting their vote. Image source: 3

PVP: There are murmurs about you not supporting M S Dhoni  in the test series and now Dhoni is not sure about 2019. Do you think Virat is ready for the full time job?

RS: (Sternly) Listen, I’ve been long enough in Indian cricket- right from when Sehwag was hair apparent to when Virat is heir apparent. You’re not going to draw a controversial remark from me.

PVP: Many people criticized Jadeja’s and Binny’s selections. Do you think that the selectors should have done a better job?

RS: Look, if there was a single player who reminds me of myself, it has to be Jadeja. Apart from our names, if you were to glance through my wiki page, you will see that his style of play is exactly like mine. Plus, he looks like a player who is at ease at all batting positions from 1 to 10, just like me. As far as Bangalore boy Binny is concerned, he must have felt like an Infosys employee- on the bench all the time. This is my payback for being kept out of the 1983 final, Roger that.

PVP: What do you have to say on the conflict of interest controversy?

RS: (Growls) Srini maama has worn more hats than Ravana, the divine ponytail is a management guru, economist and film producer. Why should people only point at me? All I have to say is, mine your own business!

PVP: You seem to be well versed with the ways of the internet. What do you have to say about all the jokes about your commentary?

RS: Well, opinions are liked noses. Everyone has one but you should pick the right one! I too can rattle off things that have happened- like how Sachin forgot the lines of his first ad shoot and said “First, the ball was not coming on to the bat, but I decided to hang in there (shrugs) and play my shots”- but I won’t.

PVP: Do you refer to your own family when you say “Just what the doctor ordered”?

RS: No actually, it is based on what Dr. Vijay Mallya orders to drink after one of his disasters.

PVP: Like Kingfisher airlines?

RS: No, like Sid Mallya (laughs while taking in a sip of KF)!

PVP: Any future business interests?

RS: I’m readying myself for the IPL. I’ve missed being in the commentary box and I’m done with thinking out of the box for the Indian team. Right now, I’m going to collaborate with MIT and Slate in bringing out a Ravi Shastri commentary generator bot for every match possible, including the old ones with no commentary.

PVP: What do you think is your biggest legacy?

RS: People remember me for making Shastri a household name, much before Mukesh Khanna’s time, although he was a better spinner. Till then, it was the usual Kapoor, Khurana and Singhania nexus on entertainment networks.

PVP: Last question- looking back, what was missing from India’s World cup campaign? And which moment gave you the most satisfaction?

RS: We missed the architect of the 2007 T20 World cup, Joginder Sharma. He’s a top, top player with a first class record better than Dale Steyn. My moment of the World cup was when we conned Ian Chappell into saying that Rohit Sharma was like Mark Waugh, after his century against Bangladesh.

Disclaimer: Almost all punchlines were taken from @paajivspunter. The images used are not property of this blog. The copyright, if any, rests with the respective owners. All lines written are fictional with the intention of humour only and should be taken with a large dose of salt.

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