Ravi Shastri backs Kohli's strategy to play an extra bowler
Indian cricket team director Ravi Shastri said that the learning period of the team is over and now is the time to deliver abroad by taking all 20 opponents wickets, reports www.bcci.tv. He arrived in Sri Lanka after finishing his four Ashes Test contract with Sky TV.
Shastri turned up at his first media conference of the series ahead of the Galle Test which is starting from August 12. He was quick and straight with his words, saying that team’s mindset has to be to bowl out the opponents and win the match.
"You don't come to a cricket ground to draw a cricket match so you play a brand of cricket where you look to take the game forward and you look to take 20 wickets, that is paramount. You have got to think how you can take 20 wickets to take the game forward and win the game," Shastri said. "It is extremely important to start winnings games. They have had the learning curve in South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia. They have played a lot of cricket overseas and that experience factor will certainly come into play when they get back to conditions they are familiar with."
India haven’t won a series in Lankan soils since last 20 years. The former Indian player backed skipper Virat Kohli’s five bowlers strategy saying we need wickets to win the matches now.
"And then the fact that you have an additional bowler might just help you close matches that you couldn't earlier. It's not about getting big runs but about taking 20 wickets. Look at England in the Ashes. It's their depth in bowling that has made all the difference," he said.
This can be a golden chance for Indian team to win a series in Sri Lanka as the home team is in a rebuilding process and are actually struggling with the same. It was in 1993 when India won on Lankan island.
Shastri praised the past Sri Lanka legend Muttiah Muralitharan saying he played a crucial role in picking 20 wickets of the opponents.
"I think they had some very good sides in the past and they play very well as a unit and as a team," said Shastri. "When I came here first in the 80s they won that series 1-0. They had a pretty decent attack. And right through those middle years they had Muttiah Muralitharan who was a massive influence. Of course, you have Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara coming in after that, but again Murali was the main guy as it is about taking 20 wickets.
"And he was instrumental with some other spinners in doing that. That's why they have been a force in this part of the world. So it is a big challenge."