NEW DELHI, April 30, 2024 --  As the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season heats up, former national player, coach, legend and brand ambassador Ravi Shastri sat down for an exclusive interview to discuss his approach to commentary, standout moments and predictions for this IPL, and outlook for the remaining season.

Shastri, known for his insightful commentary and passion for the sport, also offered his thoughts on other topics, from players to watch to the impact of emerging talents in this year's IPL. Here are the key highlights from his interview:

Approach to Commentary and Memorable Moments

When asked about his approach to commentary, Shastri emphasised the importance of simplicity and relevance. "I keep things simple. I speak what I see and do the right amount of preparation on crucial aspects such as the event and the teams playing," he stated. Shastri picked the legendary 2001 Kolkata Test as his most memorable match as a commentator and the 2020 Adelaide Test as India's coach.

On Virat Kohli to Possibly Open during the T-20 World Cup

Kohli's recent strike rate has garnered attention, with some sections calling for him to open during the T-20 World Cup. But Shastri says it's more important to balance individual and team performance. "When wickets fall around you, your strike rate is likely to drop," he noted. Shastri stressed the need for other players to contribute to boost the strike rate of the player in question.

Young Talent to Look Out For

Shastri named several players who could potentially make an impact in the upcoming World Cup. Mayank Yadav, a promising talent with a consistent bowling action, and Riyan Parag, a standout batsman, were among his top picks. "Mayank Yadav's fitness needs careful monitoring due to past injuries, but his consistent bowling action promises to keep batsmen hopping," Shastri remarked.

Wicketkeeper-Batter Selection

Discussing possible wicketkeeper-batters for the T20 World Cup, Shastri highlighted Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant as his top two choices. "In the pecking order, I'd put Kishan and Pant as the top two," he stated. He also mentioned Sanju Samson and KL Rahul as players to watch.

RCB's Struggles and Team Dynamics

Shastri acknowledged RCB's difficulties this season, noting the importance of team performance. "When you look at RCB, there are only 1 or 2 consistent performers" and emphasised the need for more players to step up if they wish to move away from the bottom of the table.

Evolution of Cricket and Players' Mental Resilience

Shastri reflected on the changing landscape of cricket, particularly with the rise of T20 leagues and technological advancements. "A significant aspect is outsmarting the opponent, often through premeditated moves or strategic guesses," he said.

Mumbai Indians' Captaincy Transition

Commenting on the Mumbai Indians' recent captaincy change, Shastri expressed a preference for more transparency in decision-making. "More transparency in the decision-making process would have been beneficial," he stated. He stressed on the importance of clear communication with key players like Rohit Sharma.

Bumrah and Mohit Sharma's Comeback

When asked about the best white-ball batsman, Shastri named several players but highlighted Jasprit Bumrah's recent performances as game-changing. Regarding Mohit Sharma's comeback, he praised the player's resilience and adaptability but maintained the value of investing in young talent for the future cannot be overlooked.

Predictions for the Rest of IPL 2024

Shastri anticipates a competitive final stretch for IPL 2024. "I see MI, SRH, KKR, CSK, and RR as my top five," he said. He believes other teams will need to elevate their game to stay in contention.

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