Ravi Shastri was the first Indian Test cricketer to play for Glamorgan, and his aggressive, yet elegant batting, and steady left-arm spin were important elements in Glamorgan`s emergence as a decent one-day team during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
This was evident during his first summer in Wales as Glamorgan enjoyed success in List A games with Ravi forming a fine partnership with off-spinner Rodney Ontong. Their bowling in tandem rekindled memories of Don Shepherd and Jim Pressdee spinning Glamorgan to victory, with Ravi’s finest hour in 1987 coming at Swansea as he took 7/51 against Lancashire as the eventual runners-up in the County Championship followed-on before succumbing to an overwhelming defeat by an innings and 132 runs.
He also made an impact with the bat, striking six first-class centuries for the Welsh county, including 157 against Somerset at Cardiff in 1988, 127 and 101* in the match against Middlesex at Abergavenny in 1989, and 133* against Lancashire at Liverpool in 1991. His batting success did not come as a surprise as Ravi had posted the fastest-ever double-century in first-class cricket, with 200* off just 123 balls in only 113 minutes for Bombay against Baroda in the Ranji Trophy at Bombay during January 1985. During this career-best performance, Shastri hit thirteen sixes, including six in an over from Tilak Raj.
Ravi had made his first-class debut as a seventeen-year old in Indian domestic cricket in 1979, and during 1980/81 Shastri made his Test debut against England. In all, Ravi appeared in 80 Tests and 150 One-Day Internationals, besides being “Player of the Tournament” during the 1984/85 World Championship of Cricket in Australia. Ravi retired from first-class cricket in 1994 and became a well-known cricket commentator on television and radio. In July 2017 he moved from the commentary box back to the changing rooms as he became India’s Head Coach.
SHASTRI, Ravishankar Jayadritha
Born – Bombay, India, 27th May 1962.
Best performances for Glamorgan:
In first-class cricket – 157 v Somerset at Sophia Gardens, 1988; 7/49 v Lancashire at Swansea, 1988.
In List A cricket – 138* v Minor Counties at Trowbridge, 1991; 5/13 v Scotland at Edinburgh, 1988.