Best by a mile – Shastri purrs over India's pace attack
Ravi Shastri believes the plethora of pace options at his disposal are the best India have ever enjoyed, after completing a crushing 203-run victory over England in the third Test.
It was off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who claimed the final wicket of James Anderson early on the fifth morning at Trent Bridge on Wednesday, but it was the tourists' seamers who had starred on days two and four to set up the win and cut the hosts' series lead to 2-1 with two matches left.
Hardik Pandya's 5-28 ripped the heart out of the England line-up in the first innings, with Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah sharing the remaining wickets between them.
And in the second dig, it was Bumrah's turn to get his name on the honours board while once again his three pace colleagues got among the wickets.
With the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav not even featuring in the XI, Shastri was asked if India's seam attack was the best he had ever seen represent his nation - traditionally associated with producing high-class spin bowlers.
"By a mile," head coach Shastri told Sky Sports. "And the bench strength; two of the most potent, best bowlers for English conditions would be Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar - we didn't have either of them available right the way through the one-day series and the first two Tests till Bumrah played here.
"But they've played as a unit. You've got Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, and Umesh Yadav in the reserves, who is bowling beautifully. They can all come into play at any time.
"I don't know what they're eating. But it's something different, that's for sure. If you want to compete overseas, you've got to have the ability to take 20 wickets. The team realise now that they've got a potent pace attack. And to help the fast bowlers, you've got to hold your catches.
"They played magnificently, as a batting unit, as a bowling unit and above all as a catching unit."
It was another stunning performance from captain Virat Kohli, who made scores of 97 and 103 to underline his status as Test cricket's finest batsman.
Top performance by the boys! Amazing game and a great win. pic.twitter.com/QXlULwh7PW— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) August 22, 2018
"He's very passionate about the game," said Shastri. "He loves batting, loves to do the hard yards. His work ethic is second to none.
"I've not seen any cricketer like it - and I'll put [Sachin] Tendulkar in that bracket - when it comes to preparation, the way he visualises situations, the way he goes about his planning.
"His ability to stay in the present, and not go too far ahead. These are great qualities in any human being, and he takes them out with him when he goes out onto the field.
"And I promise you, he has forgotten these innings' now. He'll take guard as if he hasn't got a run in this series in the next Test."