India head coach Ravi Shastri believes that the ‘class of 1985’ who registered a historic triumph at the Benson and Hedges World Championship in Australia could have any day given the current Virat Kohli-led side ‘a run for their money’. During a Facebook live interaction with Sony Sports on Tuesday, Shastri recalled India’s monumental effort during the World Championship of cricket in 1985. He believes the men in blue played some of the best white-ball cricket between 1983 and 1985. Also Read - Bangladesh ODI Captain Tamim Iqbal Was 'Ashamed Of Himself' After Seeing Virat Kohli's Fitness Levels
Shastri played a key role in India’s victorious campaign in Australia and had won the famous AUDI car for winning the ‘player of the tournament’. Continuing their legacy as ‘world champions’, India led by Sunil Gavaskar, lived up to their favourites tag by winning the quadrennial event, beating Pakistan in the final at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Australia. Also Read - Mohammed Shami Confident of Getting Reverse Swing Despite Saliva Ban in Cricket Due to COVID-19
“No question about that. They (team of 85) will give any team that India puts up in white-ball cricket, a run for their money. That team of 85 will give this team a run for money,” Shastri said during ‘Sony Ten Pit Stop’ show on channel’s FB page. Also Read - Fielding Coach R Sridhar Reveals Training Module For Virat Kohli-Led Team India, Says Sharpest Minds Will Take Six Weeks to Get Ready For Test Cricket
Shastri also has a firm belief that the team of 1985 was qualitatively better than the side that won the 1983 World Cup because it was a perfect blend of youth and experience.
“I go one step ahead and say the team of 1985 was a stronger team compared to 1983.
“You know, I was part of both teams, I played in the 1983 World Cup and 1985, when you look to man to man, 80 percent of that 83 team was still there, but then some of the youngsters that you got in there like a Sivaramakrishnan, Sadanand Vishwanath, Azharuddin, that kind of guys came in to add to the experience you already had of 83 (and it) was fantastic.”
Shastri said that winning Test series in Australia in 2018-19 for the first time in 71 years was special but when it came to white-ball cricket, 85 was special.
“It is great to be part of those two teams, as a coach that series in Australia, is going to be very very special and hard to beat, because that team wasn’t beaten in 71 years by any Asian team.
“There have been plenty who have gone there, tried their best and everyone knows how tough it is to beat Australia in Australia in Test match cricket, but in white-ball cricket you can’t beat 1985 as a player. To win both is fantastic.”
The Mumbai-born is still influential in India’s cricket set up, sitting in head coach chair, having played a significant role in team’s ascendancy in world cricket across formats.