Ravi Shastri: I always had the belief (to) never appoint a vice-captain for India
Former India coach Ravi Shastri is against the idea of picking a vice-captain in a home series as he feels doing so makes it more difficult to choose the best XI when the vice-captain is out of form while Shastri also expressed that Shubman Gill should replace KL Rahul in the last two Tests.
Former India coach Ravi Shastri is against the idea of picking a vice-captain in a home series as he feels doing so makes it more difficult to choose the best XI when the vice-captain is out of form.
Shastri also expressed that Shubman Gill should replace KL Rahul in the last two Tests of the Border Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. There has been a lot of discussion around India vice-captain Rahul’s prolonged lean patch.
The opener has scores of 22, 23, 10, 2, 20, 17, and 1 in his last seven innings. With the young Gill waiting in the wings despite his stellar run across formats, the pressure is increasing on Rahul.
“The team management knows his (Rahul’s) form, they know his mental state. They know how they should be watching someone like Gill,”Shastri said on the ICC Review podcast.
“I always had the belief (to) never appoint a vice-captain for India. I would rather go with my best XI, and if the captain has to leave the field, you’d zero in on a player that can take over at the time, simply because you don’t need to create complications.”
Rahul, who was the assigned vice-captain for the first two Tests of the Border Gavaskar Trophy, has held his place for the final two games but is no longer Rohit Sharma’s deputy.
“If the vice-captain doesn’t perform, someone can take his place; at least the tag is not there. I’m being blunt and brutal; I never like vice-captain in home conditions. Overseas, it’s different.
“Here, you want prime form; you want someone like Gill, whose red hot. He will challenge. He has to bang that door down and get into the side. Now, he’s not the vice-captain, it has to be team management’s decision,”said Shastri.
The former India all-rounder said there is no shortage of talent in India but a player must be reliable to keep his position in the team.
“They will have to see a form, his state of mind. He’s a tremendous player, but talent is only so much. You have to convert that into results and be consistent.
“There’s so much talent in India who is knocking on the door. It’s not just Rahul, there are many in the middle-order and bowling lineup as well, there are a lot of depts.”
Shastri said a break can do a world of good for a player who is struggling with form.
“Sometimes a break for the player in those conditions is far better because he can go away work on his game and come back stronger.
“In my tenure, Pujara was dropped- came back with hundreds, KL Rahul was dropped, came back strongly. You can’t carry T20 form into Test cricket.”
Shastri feels although the conditions in England will be different, India will have a psychological edge over their rivals.
“There will be an impact but conditions will be different, Australia’s fast bowlers will be back fully fit then there is a different ball game.
“But the psychological dent will make India believe that even in those conditions they can upstage Australia hopefully Jasprit Bumrah will be back, Shami is there and Siraj has been bowling beautifully.
“A 4-0 win here will psychologically send a strong signal.”The lack of application and discipline among Australians was unreal.
Australian batters have had a difficult time playing Indian spinners. In the second Test, they experienced a shocking batting collapse, losing nine wickets for 52 runs in 90 minutes.
“I think application (has let them down) more than anything else. They lack belief in their defense. The lack of application and the lack of discipline were unreal and Australia paid for it big time,”Shastri said.
He advised the Australians to go back to basics and spend time in the middle; defending the ball rather than attacking from the get-go.
“… Go back to the drawing board. If you don’t trust your defense, you have no chance because that’s when you entertain thoughts of breaking free, much quicker than you normally should. Sometimes you’ve got to spend some time at the crease, but how are you going to (do it) if you don’t trust your defense? “But I didn’t see one Australian batsman (do that). What surprised me was some of their most senior players also came out there and looked to do things out of the ordinary, something they’re not used to far quicker than later. And especially in conditions that suit the Indians.
“So I think its patience, its application, its discipline, and trusting your defense.”