Indian cricket coach Ravi Shastri has defended the tactics used by his team during the test match series against South Africa after the critics had bashed Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah’s selection in the test series.
While Bumrah impressed with his pace and accuracy, Rohit flopped throughout the test series and there were many calling for Ajinkya Rahane’s inclusion in the first 2 test matches. Rahane was included in the 3rd test and played 2 crucial innings to help India win the 3rd and final test at Johannesburg.
Team India certainly took the momentum from the 3rd test and used that to win their first ODI match in South Africa for over 7 years. With the win, India ended South Africa’s run of 17 consecutive ODI matches at home which certainly proves that the Indian team had their strategy in place with all the peace coming together for Shastri’s men.
Following the recent wins, Shastri has called out the critics who were criticizing his team for every little mistake on the tour so far. Shastri reminded those so-called experts about Rohit Sharma’s stunning record in last 12 months and how Rahane had struggled against all bowling attacks and was averaging about 37 in the year 2017.
Speaking with TOI, Ravi Shastri said:
“Right from the beginning, there was no doubt in the mind of the team management that Rohit was the batsman in form while Ajinkya was struggling. So, what does the team tell him? Your runs don’t matter because that’s how it works? We all know what Ajinkya is capable of, but before coming here, he was averaging about 30 all through 2017”
Explaining Bumrah’s inclusion, Ravi Shastri claimed that the Mumbai Indians pacer was India’s surprise weapon in the test series as no one expected him to get enough game time as he is seen as a limited overs specialist. However, Bumrah was very impressive picking 14 wickets including the big wickets like AB de Villiers and Faf Du Plessis.
Ravi Shastri and his management team were left stunned with how quickly Bumrah adapted to the test match cricket and managed to bowl long spells and trouble virtually every top order South African batsman. Bumrah will once again be a key player for India in the ODI series after India’s early 1-0 lead. Ravi Shastri said,
“It wasn’t an overnight decision. Close to six months ago, we began work on this. Bumrah was our surprise package coming here and did it work? Of course. Tell me the last time a bowler has delivered so confidently on debut and has been learning so quickly. He was among the most consistent. In Cape Town, he bowled us back into the Test from where we could have won. In Johannesburg, he was simply intimidating. People want to say a lot of things, but where are these people now?”