NEW DELHI, September 14: India coach Ravi Shastri on Friday said that they didn’t lose the Test series to a collective effort from England but to all-rounder Sam Curran’s individual brilliance which became the difference at crucial junctures.
India lost the five-match Test series 1-4 but Shastri put up a brave front making it clear that the final scoreline does not depict the kind of fight that Virat Kohli’s men put up.
“I would not say (we) failed badly. But we tried. We must give credit where it is due. Virat and me were asked to pick the Man of the Series (for England) and we both picked Sam Curran. Look where Curran has scored, and, that is where he hurt us. More than England, it was Curran who hurt us,” Shastri told a cricket website in an interview.
He then pointed out the phases during Test matches when the talented all-rounder took the game away from India.
“In the first Test, England were 87 for 7 (in the second innings) at Edgbaston, he (Curran) got the runs. In the fourth Test, they were 86 for 6 (first innings) in Southampton, he got the runs. We were 50 for 0 (first innings) at Edgbaston, he got the wickets. So at crucial stages in this series, he chipped in with runs and wickets. That was the difference between the two sides,” Shastri explained.
While the complex ICC Test ranking system helped India regain their pole position, Shastri maintained that he will take heart from the fact that the side put up a good show.
“We are still the No 1 team in the world. And England know how well we fought. Their media knows how well we fought. Our fans know how well we fought. Their public knows how well we fought. We know inside how well we fought,” he added.
Asked if he was distracted by the criticism, Shastri said: “Absolutely not. (I would be the) last one to press the panic button when I see so many positives. I head back home with a very positive state of mind. I know exactly what we do. I know exactly and clearly where the team is heading – it is heading in the right direction.” (PTI)