Team India’s longest-serving fielding coach R Sridhar saw it all unfold as the team bounced back after being restricted to their lowest ever Test total -36- in the first Test in Adelaide to win the fourth-match series against Australia by 2-1.
Sridhar, in a chat on R Ashwin’s YouTube channel, divulged some interesting details as to how regular skipper Virat Kohli’s inputs helped the team to turn the tables after the disappointing defeat, under the lights, at the Adelaide Oval.
Sridhar further stated that Kohli said that he would join the discussion on ‘Mission Melbourne’. He also revealed that head coach Ravi Shastri emphatically declared that the players should wear the number 36 like a badge.
“It was midnight, around 12.30 am, the night we lost the Adelaide Test. Virat Kohli messaged me: ‘What are you doing?’ I was shocked. I thought ‘why is he messaging at this time?’ I told him ‘head coach (Ravi Shastri), myself, Bharat Arun and Vikram Rathour are sitting together’.
He said, ‘I’ll also join you’. I said, ‘no problem, come over.’
“He came there and all of us started discussing. That’s where ‘Mission Melbourne’ began. Shastri made a point there: ‘This 36, wear it like a badge! This 36 is what will make this team great’,” Sridhar revealed.
It was Virat Kohli’s decision to play Ravindra Jadeja: R Sridhar
Sridhar also revealed that Virat and Ajinkya Rahane had a chat regarding the strategy for the rest of the series. He further added that the captain and his deputy actually decided to include Ravindra Jadeja in the playing XI.
The 50-year-old admitted that the decision to include Jadeja, instead of a batsman, turned out to be a masterstroke.
“We were slightly confused but then we started talking about the decisions we’d have to take. Then Virat called Ajinkya the next morning and we had a very good discussion,” Sridhar said.
“After a 36 all-out, usually, teams would strengthen their batting. But Ravi Shastri, Virat, and Ajinkya decided to strengthen the bowling. That’s how we replaced Virat with Ravindra Jadeja, and it was a masterstroke,” he signed off.