Ravi Shastri talks about the South Africa tour preparations; wants full concentration on SA tour

India will play the first Test against South Africa from January 5.

Ravi Shastri and Rohit Sharma | Reuters

Team India capped off a comprehensive year 2017 with a 3-0 T20I series win over Sri Lanka. India won the 3rd T20I by 5 wickets in Mumbai.

Indian head coach Ravi Shastri praised the team for a wonderful performance against the Lankans. India had previously won the Test and ODI series. However, he now wants the team to focus on the upcoming South African series, which will start from January 5.

“Looking very much forward to South Africa. Would like to reiterate the home season we’ve had. Never easy, no matter what conditions you play in. There were few hiccups in the middle. Games like Dharamsala which taught us a lot,” Shastri said after the game.

That’s the challenge. In your playing career, if you’re not up for challenges, then it’s no fun. Should be a good series. This is a side which can compete anywhere in the world,” he added.

Talking about the recent T20I series, Ravi Shastri said, “We always knew that whatever target is set up, we back our batsmen to get it. Happy with the composition we had throughout the series. Guys who got opportunities made it count throughout. Thoroughly a team effort. Each and every guy has put in a lot of effort.”

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Lot of the guys you see were playing their first game, second game, but it never seemed that way. They were confident and it was our job as management to back them. They came and did what they were expected to do,” he added.

Ravi Shastri said that long home season’s limited over series has been a good way to assess the youngsters who can be a part of the 2019 World Cup.

There’s so much of cricket being played. T20 cricket for us, we don’t care. You win or lose, it doesn’t matter, but give youngsters the opportunity so you come to know who is in the fray for 2019. Big headache for us,” he said.

By Jatin Sharma - 25 Dec, 2017

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