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Ravi Shastri defends India results and performances

By Opta
India head coach Ravi Shastri

London, September 6: Head coach Ravi Shastri has defended India's results in England, pointing out that his side have outperformed all of those who have gone before in the last 20 years.

India lost their five-Test series against England with one match remaining, although the tourists - led by captain and star batsman Virat Kohli - had come close to themselves taking control before defeat in the fourth clash at the Rose Bowl.

And while Shastri knows his team must win, he claims results have been harsh on India, who have defeated both Sri Lanka and West Indies in overseas tours in recent years.

Probable India XI for Oval Test

"I think you have got to get tough mentally. We have run teams close overseas and we have competed," Shastri told a news conference ahead of the final Test at the Oval, which starts on Friday. "But now it's not about competing. We have to win games from here.

"Now the endeavour is to understand where you made the mistakes and take it head on and try to correct it. The fact of the matter is you had a chance.

"The scoreline says 3-1, which means India have lost the series. What the scoreline doesn't say is that India could have been 3-1 or it could have been 2-2. And my team knows it.

"They would have hurt and rightly so after the last game. But this is a team that will not throw in the towel. They will come out there and look to compete and not be on the first flight home. That's exactly what we will do.

"As far as crossing the line goes, you have to give credit to (England all-rounder) Moeen Ali there on the last day [of the fourth Test]. To be honest, he bowled magnificently. As hard as our guys tried, England were one up on us there.

"The endeavour of this team is to travel well, compete and win. If you look at the last three years, we have won nine matches overseas and three series.

"I can't see any other Indian team in the last 15 to 20 years that has had the same run in such a short time - and you have had some great players playing in those series. The promise is there; it is just about getting tougher mentally.

"You have got to hurt when you lose matches, because that's when you look within and come out with the right kind of answers, to combat such situations and get past the finishing line. One day you will if you believe."

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Story first published: Thursday, September 6, 2018, 2:50 [IST]
Other articles published on Sep 6, 2018
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