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Last one to press panic button: India head coach Ravi Shastri tackles criticism


India head coach Ravi Shastri has recently come under the pump for his comments as well as India’s disastrous performance in the Test series in England. India lost the series 1-4 but despite that Shastri had claimed that this Indian side is the best in the last 15-20 years.

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Such remarks at a time when the team was losing consecutive matches against England not just landed in hot water against the fans but also earned huge criticism from the former Indian greats such as Sunil Gavaskar and Sourav Ganguly. But unflustered by such criticisms, Shastri in an interview with ESPNCricinfo said that he will 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,” said Shastri in the interview.

Talking of the criticisms coming his way, the Indian coach said that people are entitled to their opinions, but that does not worry him.

“People are entitled to their opinions. As long as we know the job we are doing and we are honest to our jobs, as long as support staff we are helping players channelise the energies in the right direction, we are not worried about what critics say,” added the 56-year-old.

He was also adamant that the Indian team despite the 4-1 scoreline performed well in the five-match Test series.

“We are still the No 1 team in the world. And England knows 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.”

The former Indian international was also full of praise for the 20-year-old England all-rounder Sam Curran, who he felt hurt’s India’s chances of winning the most through his performances.

Both Shastri and Indian skipper Virat Kohli had chosen Curran as the ‘Man of the Series’ for England.

“I would not say (we) failed badly. But we tried. We must give credit where it is due. Virat and I 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.

“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 elaborated.

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