Ravi Shastri has admitted that the team will face a huge challenge in the upcoming South Africa tour but he also trusted on his own team and said that they will make it tough for the opponents' players. Shastri has praised Jasprit Bumrah and called him one of the best bowlers in the world now.
The Indian team's inability to play on fast and bouncy tracks has never been a secret as the team over the years have been labelled as bad travellers. But in their recent visits, the Indian cricket team have worked hard in changing that perception. In 2014, India visited England for a five-match Test series which the host country won by a 3-1 margin. Despite losing the series, India managed to give some competition and in the second Test in Lord's, Ishant Sharma claimed seven wickets in the second innings and picked for the player of the match award to give India a memorable victory. In that match, Ajinkya Rahane scored his century in the first innings and in the second innings after Murali Vijay’s 95-run knock, Ravindra Jadeja, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar scored half-centuries.
At the end of 2014, India toured Australia where they showed their fighting spirit on the very first clash of the four-match Test series in Adelaide. In the first innings, Australia declared after scoring 517 runs and in response, India managed to score 444 with the help of Kohli’s century and Murali Vijay, Pujara, and Rahane’s half-centuries. Australia added 290 runs more in the scorecard but after Vijay’s 99-run knock, the Indian skipper scored 141 runs to guide India almost to the doors of victory. Ahead of the new South African challenge, team India head coach Ravi Shastri believes that the team has it in them to replicate the good performances.
“They are looking forward to it. All the boys. It's going to be a challenge. We all know how tough it's going to be but that's the beauty of their profession. They want a challenge and they embrace it. We toured Australia. We did a pretty good job. We did well in England. Sri Lanka in 2015 had some great tracks especially in the last two Tests where the ball seamed and swung. The preparation has been good and the boys have been on the tour for a long time now. The nucleus has been the same. So that should help them,” Shatri said in the pre-departure press conference.
“They've been together for the past four-five years. That experience will stand them in good stead. The conditions will be challenging, but as I've said before, these one-and-a-half years will define Indian cricket - the tours of South Africa, England, and Australia. All I can say is that this will be a better Indian team after the next 18 months,” Shastri said as quoted by Cricbuzz.
“If it's going to be tough for our batsmen, we will make it tough for their batsmen.”
Since August 2015, India didn’t lose a single Test series which helped them equalize the record of Australia who won nine consecutive Test series. The team is looking forward creating history by winning the tenth Test series in a trot and
“He is very exciting. In 50-overs and Twenty20s, he has shown how good he is. He is one of the best in the world and it is acknowledged by his opponents. He has also shown he is a quick learner. When he has played for Gujarat, he has done well. He has taken 5-wicket hauls, 6-wicket hauls and run through oppositions. His confidence level is high and [it] is a good time to get him in,” he added.
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