As India lose another Test series overseas, time for Ravi Shastri to answer tough questions

first_imgCoach Ravi Shastri can say whatever he wants but fact is that India lost four Test matches in a five-match series against England and will return home after its second successive overseas failure.It was just last week that the India head coach made tall claims about the current lot being a better travelling teams than those of the last 15-20 years.”If you look at the last three years, we have won nine matches overseas and three series (against West Indies and twice in Sri Lanka). I can’t see any other Indian team in the last 15-20 years that has had the same run in such a short time, and you have had some great players playing in those series,” were Shastri’s statements before the start of the fifth and final Test at The Oval.Virat Kohli angry after journalist asks sharp questions at press conferenceA week later India suffered a 118-run loss in London to concede the series 1-4.Captain Virat Kohli was not particularly amused when questioned whether Shastri’s pre-match claim that this was the best touring Indian team in the last 15 years, was something he believed in.”We have to believe that, why not? What do you think?”In response to an “I am not sure” from the questioning scribe, Kohli retorted, “That’s your opinion. Thank you very much.”Now it’s not about competing but completing games overseas: Ravi ShastriBut no matter what the captain and coach say now, fans and critics of the Indian team are not impressed after repeated failures outside the sub-continent.advertisementTalking about playing with aggression, ruthlessness and meeting fire with fire off the field is one thing but they also need to walk the talk on the field.Shastri, Bangar should be held accountable for India’s overseas results: GangulyCricket enthusiasts have been venting out their anger at Shastri on Twitter while former captains Sourav Ganguly and Sunil Gavaskar were also not impressed with what he had said about this team last week.Ganguly feels Shastri and batting coach Sanjay Bangar should be held accountable for the repeated failures of the batsmen in overseas conditions while Gavaskar reminded the coach about India’s overseas triumphs under other captains in the past.Mohammad Azharuddin blames India’s top-order failure for series loss vs EnglandThe numbers also reveal the true picture and support the arguments made by the former greats about India’s performance under Shastri.Since succeeding Anil Kumble as the head coach in July 2017, Shastri has overseen series wins against Sri Lanka at home and away while the team won a one-off Test against Afghanistan. This year India travelled to South Africa and England where they lost 2-1 and 4-1 respectively. In fact this is the first time India has lost four matches in a five-Test series since 1991.Sunil Gavaskar raises questions on Virat Kohli’s captaincy in Test cricketWhile the series results don’t actually reflect how close closely-fought they were, but the fact remains that Kohli and Shastri returned empty handed from these tours. India has lost six of the last eight Test matches away from the sub-continent.India had three of the most important tours lined up this year in South Africa, England and Australia. Two of them have ended in defeats with the tour Down Under taking place later in the year.The pattern of defeats in both South Africa and England were quite similar with bowlers taking wickets regularly while the batsmen, barring Kohli, kept on failing.Every time the fast bowlers and spinners got India close to a winning the position, the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane failed to back them up and crumbled under pressure with Kohli waging a lone battle.Following this defeat, India will play a Test series against the West Indies at home and are most likely to win it without much trouble. But beating teams like Sri Lanka and West Indies at home is not going to make them better travellers by any means.What Shastri needs to do is work with his team behind the scenes and try to improve the faults and deficiencies of the players and try to correct the wrongs.From wrong team selections to not playing enough practice matches, the team management and Kohli have failed miserably in making important decisions. That is another area where the team needs help big time.What Shastri needs to realise is, this team needs help not reassurance that they are the best. Cheering the boys in team huddles and in the dressing room will not win them Test matches on the field.advertisementlast_img

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