Sunday 3 July 2016

Doosra interviews Shastri after spat with Ganguly

As if losing India head coach's job was not bad enough, Ravi Shastri picked a fight with, of all people, Sourav Ganguly.

As it happens in any scrap with Ganguly, and a significant chunk of Australian population will vouch for it, the experience has been rather unpleasant for Shastri.

Shastri was naturally downbeat when Doosra met him but still agreed to bare his heart in this interview.

Excerpts from an interview which ended abruptly due to circumstances.

Doosra: Did the interview took place in a cordial atmosphere?
Shastri: No complaint about the atmosphere. I was sitting in a Thai beach, beer in hand and shaking a leg with the hip, young crowd. The atmosphere was electrifying and as the day progressed, it was only going to get hotter.

Doosra: Well, when you applied for the job, what was your expectation?
Shastri: Look boss. I'm a cool customer. I approached it with lot of positivity. I knew if I want to win it, I need to play well. I have the experience, I knew the guys on the panel and naturally I thought that all three results were possible.

Doosra: Err, all three?
Shastri: Yes. Me getting the job, they giving me the job and the job coming to me -- all three results looked fairly possible.

Doosra: That's probably taking it for granted. But why from Thailand and via Skype? Why didn't you, like Anil Kumble, appear in person?
Shastri: Just what the doctor ordered.

Doosra: Sorry?
Shastri: I mean that's what the doctor told me. Coaching and commentary put me under lot of stress. My family physician suggested I take a break and go to a beach somewhere. So I took the aerial route!

Doosra: But Kumble made a proper two-hour presentation and your spoke barely for 45 minutes.
Shastri: To hell with five-day tests and two-hour presentations. What's wrong with 45-minute presentations? I began with "KOLKATA, ARE YOU READY!" That should have been enough.

Doosra: Evidently that was not enough. Anyway, 57 people applied for the job. Do you think eventually it boiled down to you and Kumble?
Shastri: Look boss, it was a pressure cooker scenario. Anil was firing on all cylinders, so I upped the ante. It was going down to the wire. In the end, cricket, I mean Anil, was the real winner. All because of that @#$%^&* Ganguly.

Doosra: You think Sourav has a problem with you?
Shastri: How would I know? He left even before my interview began. But all three results are possible?

Doosra: Like?
Shastri: Like - he hates me, he loathes or he detests me.

Doosra: One must say that you started it by accusing him of showing "disrespect". How hurt were you by the way he hit back?
Shastri: When he hits, it stays hit. He went for the jugular.

Doosra: In the end, what do you think clinch it for Kumble?
Shastri: He got good 'purchase' from the wicket (winks).

Doosra: You think it could have been different had you been physically present at the interview?
Shastri: Maybe they didn't like me doing it from abroad. Remember, we are dealing in boundaries here!

Doosra: When did you realise the finger has gone up?
Shastri: When I saw Ganguly was absent. By the way, I got a feeling here - that you are making fun of me. Are you?

Doosra: All three results are possible.
Shastri: Like?

Doosra: Like -- mocking you, ridiculing you or taking the mickey out of you.
Shastri: No half-measures here, will come after you like a tracer bullet...