In a recent interview coach, Ravi Shastri talked about Team India's obsession. In an exclusive interview to PTI, the Team India's head coach revealed that the Indian team is obsessed about winning the World Cup. He also spoke on various issues including the legacy of the current team, team, team culture, and injuries. He also talked about the upcoming tours of New Zealand and South Africa and how these could be used as a platform to prepare for the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia this October.
“That toss will be taken out of the equation, we will play well irrespective of conditions, of opponents and in every country of the world. That's what our aim is and that is what we are chasing. Yes, the World Cup remains an obsession and we will do all to fulfil that ambition,” said Shastri ahead of India's tour of New Zealand. The hallmark of this team is enjoying each others' success, the word ‘I' is not there in our dictionary. It's ‘we'. That's what this team stands for. It celebrates each other's achievements because it's the team that wins,”
he added reflecting upon the team's culture in the dressing room.
On asked upon if there is a possibility that the ODIs to be played this year will be used to prepare for the T20s, the former Indian captain replied:
“Yes, I believe it's very much possible. The 2-1 series win against a full-strength Australian side was a reflection of the Indian team's “mental strength”, which came back strongly after being outplayed in the opening game. The Australia series was proof of the mental strength and the ability to play under pressure. After the hammering at the Wankhede, to come back and play like the way we did, merits a lot of credit and praise. It showed courage and as Virat used the word brave, it showed we are unafraid to play brave cricket and with intent.”
It was evident that the Indian coach is elated with the series win against the mighty Kangaroos, the 57-year-old now wants to only focus on the future assignments.
“This team lives in the present. Whatever has happened in the past is history. We look to do what we did well in the past, in future also.”
When asked about KL Rahul‘s wicket-keeping skills and he being a first-choice wicket-keeper -Shastri replied that he is happy that the team has a multipurpose player of Rahul's quality at their disposal.
“We love options.”
Talking about injuries in the team Ravi Sashtri revealed that Shikhar Dhawan's injury made him sad.
“Very sad because he (Dhawan) is a senior player. He is a match-winner. When someone suffers an injury of that sort, everyone is hurt in the team,” he said.
The head coach also rejected rumours that Kedar Jadhav‘s impending exclusion from Team Indian ODI set up and if the player is no longer a utility player.
“Kedar is an integral part of the ODI team that will play in New Zealand. He will be treated like every other player.”
Asked about Indian spin-twin “Kul-Cha” playing together and if they will be seen together, the coach added:
“That's a call we will take. We play ‘Horses for Courses'. We will judge it in that direction.”
When the coach was questioned about Suryakumar Yadav surge in the domestic cricketer and he being an explosive power-hitter in the playing XI. The coach replied diplomatically on the subject.
“That's a selector's job. I don't get involved in that department as such,”.
Ravi Shastri also looked unfazed about the wickets the hosts will dish out and not at all was bothered by the kind of surfaces.
“We, as a team, don't think about all that. We address something when we see it. We see facts, we address. We don't go into the history or the past.”
Team India will next play 5 T20 Internationals, 3 ODIs and 2 Test matches on their full tour of New Zealand starting with the T20I series on January 24. Next up they will play an ODI series against South Africa in March right after the New Zealand tour.