India head into Mohali high on confidence after winning the Vizag Test against England in emphatic fashion – by 246 runs – on Monday. It was a thorough performance from the hosts, who didn’t have as pleasant a time as they would have wished for in the Rajkot Test; they would certainly hope to put in a repeat performance of Vizag in the third Test, starting on Saturday.
The present Indian team has been putting in consistent performances ever since it came together as a unit a couple of years back. One man who has seen this side grow and was part of its growth for a long period of time was Ravi Shastri.
The 54-year-old, who served as Team India Director for close to two years between August 2014 and April 2016, feels that the present team has got the right attitude towards the game and has a good combination of youth and experience. He expects them to scale the top of the rankings across all formats in the upcoming years.
“This team has the right attitude, plays with aggression and has both youth and experience. I mean there are several cricketers who are still young who have a lot of matches under their belt for India.
“Over the next three to four years, I see this Indian team threatening the No. 1 position in all three formats. And this team will play well in all conditions,” Shastri told The Hindu on Monday.
Kohli will only get better: Shastri
The former all-rounder was also effusive in his praise of Virat Kohli, who he felt had calmed down significantly. He added that the positive for him has been that he has not let the responsibility of captaining India affect his batting.
“He is still a young captain. He will get better with experience, will become technically sounder. He’s got a bunch of bowlers who are all fit.
“He’s maturing and dealing with those situations differently. He is a much calmer person now and realises his responsibilities as captain.The best news is that Kohli has not allowed the pressures of captaincy affect his batting. He’s relaxed at the crease and leading by example,” he added.
Shastri also praised fast bowler Mohammad Shami, stating that at present, he had the best seam position, which was at par with someone like a James Anderson.
“At present he has the best wrist and seam position in the world along with James Anderson. He’s got a potent short-ball, has pace and is skiddy. He is the finest Indian paceman at the moment and along with ‘Vidarbha Express’ Umesh Yadav forms a very good pace pair that is consistently bowling 145kmph,” he said.