Team India head coach Ravi Shastri was delighted after his side’s 8-wicket win over the Australian team in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Shastri hailed India’s win as ‘one of the greatest wins in the history of the game’.
Speaking after the match, Shastri said, “This will go down in the annals of Indian cricket…world cricket…as one of the great comebacks in the history of the game. To be rolled over for 36 and then three days later get up and be ready to punch was outstanding. I think the boys deserve all the credit for the character they’ve shown. Real character.”
Commending skipper Ajinkya Rahane’s gutsy knock, Shastri said that according to him, his hundred was the turning point of the game.
“I think it [turning point] was the innings of Ajinkya Rahane. The discipline on such a big stage in a massive arena. To come as captain of your team, bat at No. 4; when he came out to bat we were two down for 60 and then to bat 6 hours on probably the toughest day to bat. Because it was overcast all day, the sun never came out and he batted for 6 hours. Unbelievable concentration. I thought that was the turning point, his innings was the turning point.”
Rahane, who has been the vice-captain for India in Tests for a few years now, was handed the reigns after the departure of regular skipper Virat Kohli on his parental duty.
Talking about Rahane – The Leader – Ravi Shastri said, “He’s a very shrewd leader, he has a good understanding of the game, he’s a good reader of the game. And I think that his calm composure out there in the middle helped the deubutants as well, helped the bowlers as well. There was a calming influence there. And in spite of losing Umesh, he did a great job out there.”
Shastri also hailed the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the confidence of the two debutants, Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj, who came out trumps in their very first Test and didn’t look out of place at any stage in the game.
“The fact that they share the dressing room with international players, they rub shoulders with the best; the complex factor disappears very quickly. And you see what you see now,” said Shastri.
Commending all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and the balance he provides, Shastri said that they will continue with the same balance in the Sydney Test as well.
“He’s [Jadeja] a genuine allrounder. That’s why he bats where he does. He can bat at 6, he can bat at 5 on a given occasion. He’s a genuine, genuine all-rounder.
“And he lends a lot of balance to the side. Also when you play overseas there’s always a chance of one of the bowlers getting injured, like you saw with Umesh. So with Jadeja it gives a better balance and it also gives the fast bowlers some respite with Jaddu and Ash doing the bowling,” he added.
And lastly talking about the chances of incoming Rohit Sharma, who will join the team Wednesday, Shastri said that they will take the call on his selection based on where he stands physically after 14 days of quarantine.
“About Rohit – he joins the team tomorrow. So we’ll have a chat with him to see where he’s placed physically because he’s been in quarantine for the last couple weeks. We’ve also got to see how he feels before we take the call.”