Ravi Shastri has defended attending the book-launch event before the start of the Oval Test. Shastri, alongside bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar, tested positive for Covid-19 in London and had to miss the Manchester trip, where the fifth game was eventually called off.
Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar, had been tested positive during the fourth Test at The Oval, following which they had been instructed to undergo a 10-day isolation in London. No more than a week later, the fifth Test in Manchester had been called off, after Yogesh Parmar, the team’s assistant physio, also returned a positive test on eve of the game.
Shastri has dismissed the discussions of his book release ‘Star Gazing: The Players in My Life’ in London on September 1, playing a role in him testing Covid-19 positive. The 59-year-old had copped criticism from various corners, as did the Indian skipper Virat Kohli, for attending the event.
“The whole country [United Kingdom] is open. Anything could have happened from Test One,” he told Sunday Mid-Day from London on Saturday, September 11.
Shastri further lauded his team for their brilliance on the tour, and during the Australia trip during the November-January season. India led the recent England series 2-1 after four games, thereby denying the hosts a series win for the first time since 2007.
“It’s been the best summer of cricket England has seen in a long time, certainly from an Indian cricket team. It’s Covid times, awesome summer though. The boys were fantastic on either side of the Thames,” remarked Shastri.
“No team played in Covid times like this Indian team did in Australia and England. Just ask the experts here. Nothing has given me more job satisfaction in the game and I have been around for a bit as you would know.”