After thrashing Sri Lanka 3-0 in the Test series team India has maintained their good run of form in Tests. The focus now shifts towards the one-day series which starts from August 20 in Dambulla.
Ahead of the first ODI, India’s coach Ravi Shastri spoke to the Times of India where he revealed his thoughts regarding India’s preparation for 2019 World Cup, India’s excellence in Test cricket and the performance in the Sri Lankan Test series.
Stating that only India’s fittest players will get a chance to showcase their performance in the 2019 World Cup, Shastri said, “When the time comes for India to field a side for the 2019 50-over World Cup, we should have the best fielding XI in the world walking out. Only the fittest of the lot will survive and thrive going forward and that’s right up there in the list of priorities.”
Shastri said that his long term goal is to focus on 2019 World Cup but also feels that India should continue to excel in Test matches as well, “The World Cup has its own space that needs to be respected. And while that remains the goal, a fact also remains that if India needs to show their real might in the game, then achieving results in Test cricket is the pinnacle,” he opined.
“Now, these are two different sets of goals altogether. Both need to be pursued with an equal amount of zeal and yet, both require a completely different level of preparation. Look at countries like England and Australia and how they perceive the game. Playing top-notch Test cricket and excelling in it is what they want to do. World Cups keep coming every four years and of course, we all understand its importance from a global and fan perspective. But if this team really has to be tested, then it’s Test cricket and we have plenty of it coming up next year”, he said and added, “A disciplined approach is what counts.”
“For instance, look at this series. Barring the two no-balls in the second Test from Hardik and one in the third game from Shami, we’ve not faltered. How many catches did we drop? Two? Going forward, that is what we need to avoid altogether. It’s the effort that counts. If we have to look at the bigger picture, we’re taking away more than what the scorecard will convey.” he said. - TOI