India will never make excuses about pitch and conditions, says Shastri

India coach Ravi Shastri on Wednesday asserted that the current team does not believe in complaining and will not make tough conditions an excuse for its performances.

Ravi Shastri dispelled any doubts about complaints regarding the Chlemsford pitch or the outfield, which is very rugged and bears only patches of grass.   -  Getty Images

India coach Ravi Shastri on Wednesday asserted that the current team does not believe in complaining and will not make tough conditions an excuse for its performances in what is expected to be a gruelling five-Test series against England.

There were reports that the Indian team management is not happy with the pitch and the outfield at the Essex county ground, the venue of its only warm-up game that was curtailed to three days owing to a heat wave in England.

But Shastri said his team doesn’t make excuses. "My philosophy is very simple — (in) your country, I don’t ask questions. (In) my country, you don’t ask. I said (to groundsmen) leave it, and don’t take anything off," Shastri pointed out.

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"One thing, on this trip, you will never see this Indian team giving an excuse as regarding conditions or the pitch. Our challenge is to beat them. We take pride in performing wherever we go and we want to be the best travelling side in the world. The last person to complain will be this Indian team (sic), so I want to clarify this very clearly," Shastri reiterated.

He further dispelled any doubts about complaints regarding the pitch or the outfield, which is very rugged and bears only patches of grass.

"There was good grass on that (pitch). The groundsmen asked if we wanted the grass to be taken off. I said ‘absolutely not’, (It is) your prerogative. You give (the wicket), we play, so when you come to my country you can never ask (about pitches).”

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He said that the searing heat was a factor as far as ‘cricketing reasons’ are concerned, and the team wanted better preparation ahead of the first Test starting in Birmingham on August 1.

“The game was reduced from four days to three because of the logistics and the prevailing weather. We had an opportunity to practise three days in Birmingham, which is the Test match venue."

“If we had played four days here, we would have lost that one day there because of travel. As simple as that, because the prerogative whether to play a two-day, three-day or four-day game lies entirely with the travelling team,” Shastri explained.

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Shastri said that the decision to shorten the game was made during practice on Tuesday. “It was decided yesterday (during practice). We had a chat (with Essex authorities) and they explained how they had sold tickets and everything. We were quite happy to play even a two-day game and use that extra day for practice, here. But, they said tickets and all that, so we said okay, ‘we will play a three-day game.’”

"The basic idea was to have a session at the Edgbaston on Sunday. And, travel on Saturday, to be able to practice on Sunday. The reason is to get to the Test match venue because it wouldn’t have served any purpose with an extra day here. An extra day there will give us more familiarity with the venue and the conditions where you are playing the first Test.”