Robert Key needs to form a “thick skin” similar to the Dukes ball just as he had to fight against “jealous people”, former India head coach Ravi Shastri said of how the former England opener should carry out his duties as ECB ‘Director of Cricket’. Shastri led the Indian coaching staff between 2014 and 2021, saving a year in the middle when Anil Kumble was given the charge. In an interview to UK newspaper ‘The Guardian’, Shastri said that there was a “gang of people” in India who wanted him to fail.
Just like Shastri, Key is also a well -known commentator for a long time and doesn’t have a coaching degree as he tries to play a new and very different role.
“I don’t have a coaching badge [either]. Level one? Level two? **** that. And in a country like India, there is always jealousy or a group of people who are willing for you to fail. I have thick skin, thicker than the Dukes ball skin you use. Hide real solids.
“And you need a bloody hideout here. Rob will develop this while he’s on duty, because every day you’re judged. And I’m glad he has a lot of captaincy experience since in Kent, because communication with the players is very important,” Shastri was quoted as saying by the British newspaper.
From his own experience working with Indian teams, Shastri feels that national teams around the cricket world function in much the same way.
“Rob may have more work with the domestic game but, when it comes to the national team, it’s very similar. The most important thing is to get among the players and set the tone from the start: what you believe, what you think. Of them and change minds to compete and win.
“You have to be confident and ruthless in wanting to achieve it. For us, and now England, it’s about setting the challenge to win overseas, big time. I’m very assertive when it comes to team culture: all that prima donna and All that shit, who had to go out the window early, “Shastri explained.
Outlining the philosophy and culture of the team is important, according to Shastri and that’s what he coached when India beat Australia in two consecutive away series.
“… it also outlines how we want to play: to be aggressive and ruthless, to improve fitness levels, to get a bunch of fast bowlers to take 20 wickets overseas. And it’s about attitude, especially when playing Australia. I do. tell the boys if one swear word comes to you, give them three back: two in our language and one in their language. ” Shastri also feels that Key needs to discuss the issue with former Test captain Joe Root to understand how it all works.
“Rob will have an adjustment period to understand the issue and will need to speak in detail with Joe Root for his experience as a Test captain. But in my 24 years [commentating]i didn’t miss the beat or the Indian cricket ball.
“And he (Key) will also cover a huge amount. So you don’t miss out in the slightest, you follow what the team needs but also what the other teams are doing. You should be able to jump over all those early issues and get in. into small things immediately. ” Shastri feels that Ben Stokes would be an ideal choice to bring the England team forward.
“The captain’s adrenaline – not that he needs it – can trigger Stokes to be something more than the extraordinary player he is now. The important relationship is with the captain – when there is a shift, things go downhill.
“But they’re going to be fine because the England I saw last year, they have enough talent and skills to compete. There’s no doubt about that in my mind. It’s all about their thinking.”
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