Ravi Shastri: Indian team of 1985 can give Kohli-led side "a run for their money"

India coach Ravi Shastri believes that the team which won the 1985 Benson & Hedges World Championship was one of the strongest the country ever fielded.

Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri was adjudged the 'Champion of Champions' in the 1985 Benson & Hedges World Championship.   -  PTI

India head coach Ravi Shastri, in a Facebook live interaction with Sony Sports on Tuesday, said the Indian team that won the Benson and Hedges World Championship in 1985 could have anyday given the current Virat Kohli-led side "a run for their money".

When questioned by journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, Shastri said, "Yeah, no question about that. Take any team that India puts up in white-ball cricket, the best of what it has to put out, the team of ’85 will give that team a run for their money."

"Many people thought it (the 1983 World Cup win) was a one-off. But the boys were excellent in 1985, with Sunny (Sunil Gavaskar) leading from the front."

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When asked what he fondly remembers the most from the tournament, Shastri was prompt in replying, "Stuffing Pakistan in the final is my favourite memory."

Shastri and Javed Miandad's on-field rivalry is still considered one of the greatest in cricket. Shastri, who won an Audi 100 sedan after the final for being the Player of the Tournament, agrees that even the Pakistan captain had his eyes on the car but he wasn't letting it go easy. "Javed had no chance of getting the Audi. He would try to get under your skin on the field."

100

India coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli during a training session.   -  Vivek Bendre

The 57-year-old believed that after Pakistan, New Zealand could be named as the strongest competitors in the championship. "New Zealand were a fantastic team. They might not have the superstars but they are always a team known for punching much above their weights. We had to play our A game in the semifinals to beat them."

Shastri said winning a Test series in Australia in 2018-19 for the first time in 71 years 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.

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“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 former commentator is stuck within the confines of his farmhouse in Alibaug due to the COVID-19 lockdown and said he would have loved to have Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and Roger Binny as his quarantine roommates. "We can get some beer. I'm sure Siva and Roger would join in."

Sony Pictures Sports Network will revisit the victorious campaign of the 1985 B&H World Championship of Cricket in ‘The Blue Revolution’ from May 4-16 at 8:30 PM exclusively on SONY SIX and SONY SIX HD channels.

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