London: India have lost the Test series in England but coach Ravi Shastri insisted here Wednesday that the current lot is travelling better than the teams of the last 15-20 years. India lost by 62 runs in the fourth Test at Southampton to go 1-3 down in the five-match series.
“As hard as our guys tried, England were one-up on us there (Southampton). Nothing to take away (from them), the endeavour of this team is to travel well, compete and win. 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),” said Shastri. “I haven’t seen any other Indian team in the last 15-20 years with such a success rate.”
Shastri asserted that it is all in the mind and once that falls into place, India are going to win away series. “The promise is there, and it’s just about getting tougher mentally,” he pointed out.
The head coach underlined the need to grow mentally tougher in order to cross the finishing line and win Test series in overseas conditions, something Virat Kohli had stressed on after the loss at Southampton.
“We have run the opposition close overseas and we have competed really well. But now it’s not about competing (any longer). We have to win games from here onwards. Now the endeavour is to understand where you made the mistakes, take it head on and try to correct it,” Shastri said.
“The scoreline says 3-1, which means India have lost the series. What the scoreline doesn’t say that it could have been 3-1 in India’s favour or even 2-2. But yet we are not ready to throw the towel,” the coach added.
Shastri said that shot selection by the batters led to India’s loss at Southampton. “We could have easily had a healthy lead both at Edgbaston and Southampton. But that did not happen due to poor shot selection. That is where we blew our chances in those two matches,” Shastri asserted.
Shastri pointed out that Moeen Ali was the key difference between the two sides, and he bowled better than Ravi Ashwin.
“Ashwin was fit, we played him. You have to give credit to Moeen Ali there on the last day. To be honest, he bowled magnificently. Moeen hit those rough patches more than Ashwin, as simple as that,” added Shastri.
“When you see talent, you have to persevere with it. We feel that Hardik (Pandya) is immensely talented so he is getting chances”