Brisbane: India head coach Ravi Shastri described Tuesday his injury-hit side’s gritty Test series victory over Australia as ‘unreal’. It was indeed unreal for a side who had been bundled out for 36 at Adelaide in the first game of the Test series. Ravi Shastri also said that the just-concluded series was the toughest tour ever for him.
“It is the toughest tour ever. Nothing surpasses this. After 36 all out, this is unreal,” Shastri said after India’s three-wicket win here. “Feeling defeated is one thing but giving up is not in our vocabulary,” the coach added.
Shastri said India’s performance will not be forgotten by the cricket world for a long time to come.
India retained the coveted Border-Gavaskar trophy with the historic win here, successfully chasing a 328-run target.
Shastri was effusive in his praise for young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant. The latter has always copped heavy criticism for erratic performances behind the stumps. However, his batting prowess has earned him respect.
“In his mind Pant was always chasing. You could see he was looking at the scoreboard,” Shastri said. “He is a good listener. As coach, you don’t want to change anyone’s natural ability. You just need to strike the right balance between caution and aggression. You can’t be reckless. Rishabh has learnt that,” he added.
Shastri said Pant, who scored a 97 in the drawn Sydney Test, could have won that match for India, had he stayed in the middle. “He could have finished the game in Sydney had he been there for some more time. This time he made sure he was there till the end,” Shastri said. “When he doesn’t keep well, people criticise him, but he can help you win matches like these,” added the coach.