It is over now. Ravi Shastri’s stint as India coach had a rocky beginning given the controversial circumstances in which he got the job and it has ended on a low too but between the start and the finish, he helped make India one of the strongest sides in Test cricket.

The Ravi Shastri-Virat Kohli combination worked because both individuals always seemed to be on the same page – they wanted to be aggressive, to win away from home, and do it in a way few other Indian teams have. They managed to do all of that.

But while there was obvious growth in Test cricket, the team seemed to stagnate a bit in white-ball cricket. The method of motivation that seemed to work so well in Tests floundered in the shorter formats. The tactics weren’t great, they failed to find a consistent No 4 in ODIs and experimented at the wrong moments.

So when one looks at Shastri’s stint minus the hyperboles, the first realisation is that there was more good than bad. India may not have become one of the greatest teams ever as Shastri would have many believe but they certainly took steps in the right direction.

The big plus was obviously the series…

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