Head coach Ravi Shastri gets a lot of flak on social media by Indian cricket fans. They feel he has a very comfortable job as head coach; traveling the world, enjoying the comforts of 5 star hotels and sipping on his beer.
Shastri has not had a lot of occasions to feel immense pressure during his recent tenure; the team have done rather well for themselves in all formats under Virat Kohli.
This is especially true in the test arena were India has enjoyed ample success in the last two years. Which is why they are ranked as the number 1 test team by the ICC. For the first time in a long time, India enter a test series with a few concerns. They are not the overwhelming favourites to win against New Zealand.
Play Like The Number 1 Test Team: Ravi Shastri
India are coming off a 3-0 ODI series whitewash as they prepare to play a two-test series. They will also be without a number of their key test players; Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are all recovering from injury.
Ravi Shastri does not want India to think about any of these things as they prepare for the first test which starts on Feb 21. Shastri faced the press and said that his key role at this point of time is enforcing the fact to the players they are ranked number 1 in the world and he wanted them to face the Kiwis and play like they are the number 1 test team in the world.
Shastri has said often that his job was not made technical adjustments at this level. His job is focused more on getting players to believe in themselves, maximize their full potential and get them to deal with any nagging doubts before they step onto the field.
Players Regain A Little Rhythm In Tour Game
Shastri’s job was made a little easier after the tour game against a NZ XI team. Openers Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal who failed in the first innings, played aggressive knocks in the second innings. Agarwal scored 81 and Shaw 39. Cheteshwar Pujara who plays at three made 90. Meanwhile, Hanuma Vihari scored a century. Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant also made some runs lower down the order.
The fast bowlers were amongst the wickets as Bumrah, Yadav and Saini picked up 2 wickets each. Shami was the best of the lot and finished with 3 wickets. India will also be happy to hear that Ishant Sharma has passed his fitness test in Bangalore and will be on the flight to New Zealand. Sharma is likely to miss the first test due to a lack of match practice but if any of the bowlers fail, he could come in for the second test.
Shastri Keen To Qualify For World Test Championship
The head coach wants his team to have a winners mindset as he is very keen on having them wrap up this test series 2-0 and gain crucial points to qualify for the World Test Championship. India are currently on top of the table of the World Test Championship with 360 points as they have series wins over South Africa and Bangladesh at home and an overseas series win against the West Indies.
A series win against New Zealand will help them make the World Test Championship final in London in 2021. India need to get another 100 points to made the final!