Sydney, Dec 31:
Despite India losing the Border-Gavaskar Trophy following the draw against Australia in the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), team director Ravi Shastri has said that the team is young and it they will improve in next 12 months.
India made a fighting attempt at chasing 364 in Adelaide, but fell short by 48 runs. Then they lost the Brisbane Test following a second-innings collapse, before holding on for a draw in Melbourne where Australia were on top for several periods of play.
Shastri said he does not care “if the scoreline reads 3-0 or 4-0”, as long as India continue showing their attacking intent and push their opponents.
“What I am more focused on is the mindset to go out and perform. The scoreline does not matter,” Shastri was quoted as saying by Star Sports after the third Test.
Shastri also praised Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli, who produced a 262-run partnership on the third day.
“Two young turks took the attack to the opposition and Australia took notice. I am happy with the mindset. The batting that I saw on day three was something I have not seen in a long time,” the 52-year-old said.
“The whole of Australia stood up. India have not come out to compete, they are here to win. Mark my words, give this team 12 months and they will be back in the top two.”
When asked about the areas in which India could do with immediate improvement, Shastri conceded that the absence of a fifth bowler was hurting the team.
“What we miss overseas is a batsman who can bowl a bit. When Sourav Ganguly was there, he could bowl 10-15 overs. Combinations have to be tried out that can fit the billing,” the former Indian captain said.
“If you have three fast bowlers, the workload is hard. One needs a fifth bowler. The way India bowled on the fifth morning, they have the confidence to keep Australia quiet. We will go to Sydney without a care in the world.” (IANS)