Well aware of the several social media memes he inspired during an eventful tenure as India head coach, Ravi Shastri is fine with people having a laugh at his expense and also doesn’t mind the vicious criticism that sometimes came with bad performance of the team.
The 59-year-old former player, whose tenure as head coach ended with India’s last T20 World Cup match against Namibia on Monday, made light of the social media trolling that often triggers storms now.
“It’s banter all the way, they do it to have fun at my expense, I will take a laugh yaar, have a drink in my name. Kya farak padta hai, Main nimbu paani piyunga or I will have milk and honey, you have a drink, enjoy karo na at my expense,” Shastri said in the post-match press conference when asked how he views the social media criticism and ridicule that he was subjected to during his tenure.
“When you post those kind of things (memes) kitna jan haste hain yaar, kitna jan khush hote hain (so many people have a laugh, feel happy), enjoy karo na yaar. As long as the team does well, I am happy,” he added.
But what about the criticism that comes with almost every India loss? Shastri said it has always been evened out by the effusive praise that accompanies every triumph of the team.
“Criticism kya baat hai yaar…It all revolves around performance, accha karo, you will get the accolades, if you don’t perform, you will get a kick and a slap. Shanti rakho, om shanti om,” he quipped.
Shastri’s partnership with skipper Virat Kohli, who stepped down as T20 captain on Monday, will go down as one of the most successful in Indian cricket.
Under his tutelage, the team became a formidable travelling outfit in Test arena, spending 42 months at the top of the ICC rankings.
On Shastri’s watch, India won T20I series in South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia.