Shastri: Need to improve batting on turning tracks

Despite crushing South Africa comprehensively in the recent Test series, Team Director Ravi Shastri feels that current crop of Indian batsmen need "massive improvement" when it comes to facing spinners on tracks that offer turn.

Indian cricket Team Director Ravi Shastri believes batting on spinning tracks will serve as an education for Indian batsmen.   -  K BHAGYA PRAKASH

Despite crushing South Africa comprehensively in the recent Test series, Team Director Ravi Shastri feels that current crop of Indian batsmen need “massive improvement” when it comes to facing spinners on tracks that offer turn.

In an interview to BCCI’s official website, Shastri also spoke about Virat Kohli having become a “leader of men” while praising Ajinkya Rahane amd Shikhar Dhawan for showing a different aspect of their batting skills.

“The problem what we’ve had in the Indian team is that our boys don’t play enough domestic cricket, and it is not their fault. The calendar is so packed. So, the footwork and the way they play spin bowling on turning tracks, that aspect needs massive improvement. That will come when you are exposed to these conditions,” Shastri told bcci.tv today.

“They have played overseas for the last two years and when they came home for this series, the conditions they have grown up in, were suddenly foreign to them. But it was an education,” the former India captain said.

He complimented Ajinkya Rahane for adapting well after failing in two of the first three Test matches. “Look at Ajinkya Rahane. The way he got out in the first Test - once defending and once playing an attacking shot. And you saw how he batted in the final Test in Delhi. He was sure in attack and defence, which is the name of the game.”

It’s no secret that Shastri is a vocal fan of Virat Kohli’s leadership skills and he was again lavish in his praise for the Indian Test captain. “December 9, 2014, the young man (Kohli) captained India in a Test match for the first time, in Adelaide. A year later I can say that he is now a leader of men. Virat is everywhere. He is hands on, and very communicative. That’s what you want in a captain. There is trust between the players and the captain, and that is the most important thing.”