Mumbai, April 23: Playing white ball cricket before plunging into the five-Test rubber against hosts England gives the Indian cricketers sufficient time to get used to the conditions in Old Blighty, said head coach Ravi Shastri on Monday (April 23). India is to tour England, from late June, for a full tour comprising T20s, ODIs and then Tests.
"(Former Australia captain) Michael (Clarke) and I had a chat earlier (today) that we (Indian team) will be there (in England) almost a month before the first Test match. We play some one-day cricket before the first Test match starts. You kick off the one-day games around 1st of July and the first Test starts August 1. That gives us that much more time (to prepare for Tests)," Shastri said at a book release function. India are to start with a T20I in England on July 3.
Shastri, India team member Rohit Sharma, cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and Clarke were present at the release of the book "Eleven Gods and a Billion Indians: The On and Off the Field Story of Cricket in India and Beyond", by Boria Majumdar.
Shastri was happy that problems regarding lack of time for acclimatisation for an overseas Test rubber, as was the case before the Indian team's tour of South Africa, have now been addressed by the Indian Cricket Board and CoA. "To be fair to the BCCI and the CoA, those plans were (already) in place. It's only when the new FTP kicks in in 2019, that's when you can address those problems and they have been addressed," he remarked.
Shastri said he was proud of what the team did in South Africa and for also raising the bar by winning the ODI series after a quarter century of attempts. "Well before we went to South Africa, I told you clearly the next 15 months was going to define this Indian cricket team. What our boys did in South Africa makes me proud as a coach because there were 21 days of cricket and on each one of those 21 days, India competed." he pointed out.
"On each one of those days in the Test series the pendulum swung from one side to other. 21 out of 21 days the boys competed; they were relentless. The one-day series we won after 25 years. And so from a coach's point of view, you have to just stand up and say 'well done, guys. Simply magnificent. You have raised the bar'," he added.
Rohit, who was part of the Test and the limited overs team in South Africa, said that the team will continue to play an aggressive brand of cricket as they did on that tour. "And what we did in South Africa was an example of how this team is going to play over the next few years, till the World Cup at least. We want to go and express ourselves on the field. We have learnt from our mistakes and we tried and rectified it when we went to South Africa. Hence we saw improved performance from all the players.
"We read the conditions well and that is all cricket is about. You have to read the situation, the opposition and I thought we did our homework pretty well against the opposition and that is one of the reasons that we got the results we wanted.
"Like Ravi bhai said the Test series could have gone either way. The three Test matches we played, we dominated nearly 14 days. One day of bad Test cricket and we lost the series, but that can happen.
"We are a young bunch but to come out and perform like that against a quality side gives us a lot of confidence going to England now and then to Australia," said Rohit.