Early arrival in South Africa could have helped: Ravi Shastri
They will be up against the Proteas in the third Test on this Wednesday, 24th January 2018.
Updated - Jan 23, 2018 12:47 pm
The Indian cricket team is bagging some extreme criticism for their poor show in South Africa. Many felt that India became too much over-complacent and thus played Sri Lanka in a full-fledged series. Former off-spinners Bishan Singh Bedi and Harbhajan Singh termed the Sri Lanka series as useless.
Rather, India could have gone to South Africa early and prepared better. However, that wasn’t the case and they have already lost the Test series to the Proteas. Although there are various arguments both from the BCCI and the Indian team management about the preparations, nothing stands for any use now.
Shastri speaks to the media for the first time after the loss
India head coach Ravi Shastri on Monday (January 22) said early arrival in South Africa would have made a difference to the team’s fortunes in the ongoing Test series. India lost both the first two Tests in Cape Town and Centurion. They will be up against the Proteas in the third Test on this Wednesday, 24th January 2018.
Shastri said that they were not in the rainbow nation to crib and moan about the tracks. He said that both the teams play on the same track. Further, he also said that people don’t utter a word about the pitches in India when games end in two or three days. “In hindsight, I would say another 10 days of practice here would have made a difference. But that’s no excuse. The pitch we play on, it’s the same for both sides and I would rather focus on the 20 wickets we have taken. That has given us a chance in both Tests to win games. Our top order, if we can fire, it will be a good Test match,” said Shastri to Economic Times.
Also, Shastri spoke about the team selection. He said that the team was picked after taking various factors into consideration. “Chopping and changing overseas is easier. In India, you don’t need to chop and change because you know what the conditions are. Overseas, you go on current form and you go on conditions and you see which player can adapt to certain conditions quicker than the other. “So when you have choices, the team management has discussed what is the best option and they stick by it they go by it,” Shastri said.
Shastri also spoke about the scheduling of tours. He said that they would try to lay enough emphasis on practice in the future. He ensured that the team will go for the future tours at least two weeks early.
However, if anyone blames not being in South Africa early as the sole and primary reason for the loss, they are completely misinformed. India was in South Africa for a good two weeks time before the start of the second test. They also played one match against the full-strength squad before. The pitch was also assisting the Indians. Yet, they fell short of what was to be achieved. It would be interesting to see what they do in the third Test.