Monday, 12 November, 2018

Shastri's mantra: Play ugly, look dirty, be gritty

India vs England Former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott lashed out at Indian cricket team
Sidney Guerrero | 17 August, 2018, 10:39

Batting woes, muddled selection, struggle against place quality pace and a big question mark surrounding their captain makes it even more hard for the No. 1 Test team to keep their hopes alive.

The 31-year-old has scored 1479 runs at shade under 40 per innings in 25 Tests with three hundreds and nine half centuries but is now out of favour as far as longest format is concerned. He (Rahane) is one of our pillars and he will remain one of our pillars.

"Conditions have been tough right through this series. But that's where character comes into play, discipline comes into play, the resolve to know where your off stump is, leave a lot of balls, be prepared to look ugly and dirty and show some grit". His struggles in testing conditions is quite disheartening, given he was India's most consistent batsman on their previous cycle of overseas tours from December 2013 to January 2015.

Be it trouble with the world-class swing bowling of James Anderson and Stuart Broad or India's overdependence on captain Virat Kohli batting the team through, India are in dire straits now.

'India have come to England complacently and arrogantly thinking they can bat the same way and everything will be OK on the day'.

Shastri´s men are 2-0 down in a five-match series heading into the third Test at Trent Bridge starting Saturday after a thumping innings and 159-run defeat at Lord´s last week.

As for Kohli´s fitness, Shastri said: "He is feeling much better. You saw him in the nets, he is moving much better and improving by the day", he said. And Rishabh Pant making his Test debut?

World Health Organization chief pleads for access to Ebola-affected areas of DRC
For the second time in a matter of months, Ebola once again threatens lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo . Referring to the areas where armed groups are operating, he said they could be "hiding places" for the virus.

'Trying to work straight outswingers through midwicket and then being surprised when you get bowled or nick it to the slips is brainless, ' the former England batsman told the Daily Telegraph.

After failing to impress in the Test series in South Africa earlier this year, the 31-year-old wasn't included in the Indian Test squad for the first three Tests to take on England but remains optimistic of a recall to the side.

"Just believe in yourself". But you can't point fingers at them this time in the UK. One thing for sure in this unit, there is no negative bone. "We have come here to win", the coach thundered. There is furious debate whether England should welcome Stokes back this soon and England coach Trevor Bayliss was bombared with questions about that. We deserved to lose, ' he said.

"We focus on cricket". If he is cleared by the courts, what's the reason for him not to play? If I were in England's position I would have wanted him to play.

India will be looking to find the optimal combination for the game, and the coach admitted that they had made a mistake going with an extra spinner at Lord's.

"In hindsight, it (picking second spinner) was an error".

"But seeing how things panned out - the amount of rain and the amount of time we lost - seamers would have been a better option".

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