As the COVID-19 lockdown struck forcing liquor shops to down their shutters many lamented the loss, even as others took to social media making memes and cracking jokes. Head coach of the Indian national cricket team, Ravi Shastri bore the brunt of many of these wisecracks, with his fondness for liquor as a standing joke.
But the former cricketer has proved time and again that he can be an incredibly good sport, shaking off the jibes or even fanning the flames cheerfully. As the lockdown was relaxed somewhat in his locality, he picked out his ideal beer partners and told reporters that he was planning to "get a beer tonight". And in 2016, he had recounted a story from his initial days during an interview about how he and his teammates had felt comfortable having a drink in the presence of former India batsman Gundappa Vishwanath or even in his dormitory while associated with the U-19.
Now, as a meme about India's incredible win in the recent test series against England went viral for its reference to Shastri, he took it in stride adding that he "loved" the banter.
"Feels good to bring some smiles in these tough times," he added.
For the uninitated, India is presently on the cusp of qualifying for the World Test Championship (WTC) final, having beaten England by 10 wickets on an extraordinary second day of the only day-night Test of the series at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera. The fourth Test will also be played in Ahmedabad, starting on March 4. The result knocked England out of contention for the final which is scheduled to be held from June 18 at the iconic Lord's Cricket Ground in London.
"You thought I'd stay in a dry state for five days?" a smiling Shastri can be seen asking in the now viral image that was shared by many including writer Shobhaa De.
The test match was the shortest in terms of balls (842) since the Second World War. However, this is not the only record that the match broke. Both sides scored a cumulative 387 runs -- the lowest in a Test match in Asia, surpassing the grand total of 422 scored by Pakistan and Australia in Sharjah in 2002. England's second innings' 81 is the second-lowest by any visiting team India. And their total of 193 runs in the two innings is the lowest ever for any team in India. India's 145 is the lowest first innings total since 1909 by a team that went on to win the match by 10 wickets.
There were also several personal records that were set in the match earlier this week. Axar Patel's match haul of 11/70 is the best match figures in a day-night Test as well as being the cheapest 10-wicket haul by an Indian in Test cricket. Patel is the fourth Indian to take five-wicket hauls in three or more consecutive Test matches.
Even as Captain Virat Kohli (22) overtook MS Dhoni (21) for most Test wins as Indian captain in India, Ashwin became the fourth Indian to take 400 Test wickets.
In the meantime, Joe Root's 5/8 is the most economical five-wicket haul in the history of Test cricket.
(With inputs from agencies)