Shastri: No shame in the way India have played

The Team Director agreed that India needed extra bowlers on tour.

Ravi Shastri felt a tour of Australia is a huge learning curve.   -  AP

Ravi Shastri acknowledged India's failings in the VB Series but felt the experience was part of a “huge learning curve” for the side. The Team Director would not criticise his players, instead speaking of their potential for improvement and the need for a bigger squad on physically demanding tours such as this one.

“There is absolutely no shame in the way they have played in spite of the results,” Shastri said here on Tuesday ahead of the fourth ODI. “It’s a huge learning curve. I know what happened 12 months ago after the Test series here and I know where we stand today as far as the Test match team goes. I'm sure the bowlers will learn. Disappointed, yes, because let's be fair we could have pulled one back especially in Melbourne. But that didn’t happen and Australia played well.”



We need bench strength because this is one of the toughest tours. In the last six days, we have been through three time-zones. And when it comes to bowling, what I would suggest in the future to the BCCI is to have some extra players.


Were India's bowlers capable of preventing a whitewash, Shastri said: “If they learn from their mistakes they will stop it. This is a young side, we have had three debutants, and we have been plagued by injuries. I'm not giving excuses. Australia is one of the hardest places to play and you are playing against the world champions. The fact that they are competing and they have competed right through this one-day series is itself very good.”

When asked about the performances of Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma, players who have now toured Australia three and four times respectively, Shastri admitted that India's bowlers needed to be more consistent.

Fire as a unit

“To win a game, one or two bowlers can't do the job,” he said. “You need to bowl as a unit. The reason we did well at the World Cup was that we had all five bowlers firing. There are no excuses for wides – so obviously they will be disappointed.”

Shastri added that the bowling group had to cut down on easy boundaries.

“It's not that the batsman has to earn it; it is given like freebies. That should be eliminated. Even if you cut that by 60-70 per cent, it will become an even tighter game.”

The former India all-rounder agreed that India needed extra bowlers on tour.

“We need bench strength because this is one of the toughest tours,” he said. “In the last six days, we have been through three time-zones. And when it comes to bowling, what I would suggest in the future to the BCCI is to have some extra players. Instead of 15 on a tour like this, probably 16 would be advisable. In the subcontinent, 15 is fine. But here when you travel that far, and suddenly you get injuries... At least 7-8 bowlers have to be there all the time.”