What’s the Story?
In the upcoming months India has quite a few assignments in all formats of the game to work on. In an exclusive interview with Times of India, Ravi Shastri spoke about Test cricket and the prominence it holds in the cricketing globe, while respecting the importance of World Cup cricket.
“The World Cup has its own space that needs to be respected. And while that remains the goal, we must realize that if India need to show their might in the game, achieving results in Test cricket is the pinnacle. Now, these are two different sets of goals altogether. Both need to be pursued with equal amount of zeal and yet, both require a completely different level of preparation”- the current Indian coach said.
The former Indian all-rounder also supported his logic by highlighting examples. “Look at countries like England and Australia and how they perceive the game. Playing top-notch Test cricket and excelling in it is what they want to do. World Cups keep coming every four years and of course, we all understand its importance from a global and fan perspective. But if this team really has to be tested, then it's Test cricket and we have plenty of it coming up next year”- he added.
In case you didn’t know…
Ravi Shastri became the newly appointed coach in the month of July after Anil Kumble decided to resign from his post. Shastri’s stint got off to a decent start with a thumping victory against Sri Lanka in the Test series.
He was also the director of the Indian team when they toured Down Under for the World Cup in 2015.
India has performed exceptionally well in Test cricket under Virat Kohli while remaining unbeaten since Kohli took the mantle. India has quite a few assignments in Test cricket over the next few months. They will also be touring South Africa for a Test series in January next year, which will be a stern Test of Shastri’s coaching skills.
For the time being, India will be playing a 5-match One Day International series against the Lankan Lions that starts on August 20.
Ravi Shastri’s was justified in saying that Test cricket is the pinnacle of the sport and needs to be prioritised. It’s the most rigorous format of cricket where players go through the test of skill, stamina, temperament and endurance.
On the other hand, the World Cup also holds importance as it carries forward the image of the team for the next four years.
The 50-over extravaganza is left with less than two years and somewhere down the line Shastri and his men should also start thinking of focusing on that aspect of the game, apart from Test cricket.