Pune defeat was a lesson, says Shastri

For Team Director Ravi Shastri, the images from the defeat in Pune have only helped the team stay focussed on the task on hand. India need to win the second Twenty20 against Sri Lanka in Ranchi to stay alive in the three-match series.

Ravi Shastri at the press conference ahead of the second Twenty20 between India and Sri Lanka scheduled for Friday.   -  Manob Chowdhary

When driving, it is imperative to glance at the rear-view mirror before shifting the concentration on what lies ahead. For Team Director Ravi Shastri, the images from the defeat in Pune have only helped the team stay focussed on the task on hand.

Speaking to mediapersons on the eve of the second Twenty20 match against Sri Lanka, Shastri said, “You learn from every match. You get these kind of performances. I expected it. The sooner you get it, the better.”

Elaborating on the reasons for the defeat, he said, “We played in Australia, in those conditions and to come straight back (and play again) within a 3-4 days gap (was not easy). That pitch (at Pune) wasn't the normal one you would get in sub-continent conditions. It turned, it seamed, there was bounce. It was two-paced. It wasn't easy. When you come with the flow from Australia, you could see, the batsmen faltered. But then, again, no excuses. We have to adapt to the conditions. Like I said, instead of a 160-180, 140 would have been good enough (on that pitch).

Not an ideal outfield

Talking of the sandy outfield here, Shastri said, “They have to get their bodies behind the ball. Ground fielding might not be easy there. You will get some uneven bounce.”

For Lanka, Chamara Kapugedara, too, did not have a good impression of the ground. “It is not an ideal outfield but you have to put up with that and do what’s necessary. It doesn’t look that bad, there is just sand and that’s okay.”

Understandably upbeat following the team’s showing in Pune, he said, “It’s a good start. To win in India, against India, is a good boost, especially with a lot of seniors not around. It’s very important that people in Sri Lanka know that there are back-up players. It’s good to see them do well.”

Talking of playing in India ahead of the World Cup, Kapugedara said, “The young players who have played here will benefit. Even some of us senior players haven't played in India for a long time so it’s good.

Looking at the pitch, he said, “Hard to predict, it could be a good batting track. We can't predict too far.”

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