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When Ravi Shastri got named as Anil Kumble’s replacement, he had a daunting task in his hands. As far as the form of the team was concerned, it was in the best-possible condition with the Men in Blue fresh from a series win in West Indies following the runners-up finish in the Champions Trophy. However, the mood of the players was perhaps not much good after Kumble unceremoniously stepped down from his post, citing Virat Kohli’s reservations over his style of functioning.
However, Shastri, who was the team director from 2014 to 2016, had revealed that the team was ‘a happy unit’ when he walked in.
“It was one happy unit, when I walked in. Because it helps when you have already been there for 18 months with the boys and if you look at the nucleus of the team, it’s pretty much the same. They know the kind of personality I am. They knew pretty much what to expect,” Shastri told The Indian Express.
Shastri had another aspect to worry about when he took charge of the team. When he was the director, the limited-overs team was led by MS Dhoni, but it was handed over to Test captain Virat Kohli earlier this year. Given the past incidents of former leaders and their successors not being on good terms, there were speculations that Dhoni and Kohli would also head in the same direction. However, the duo has turned out to be an exception.
When asked about that, Shastri said:
“It happened during my time; during my first stint. There’s a huge mutual respect for each other. It was a very smooth transition and you can see that mutual respect even now. I mean, Virat knows Dhoni was his first captain. Dhoni knows he is playing under Virat now. And because of that mutual respect, you know, it makes a massive difference.
“MS fully knows what Virat gave him as a player. Virat fully knows what MS can give him a player. So it’s a perfect relationship. And the fact that I happened to be back it can only help, because you could see that transition. So ensure that healthy respect and mutual respect stay. There are no egos in this team,” he added.