Team Director Shastri stresses on consistency against South Africa
“South Africa are the No. 1 team in the world. We have to play consistent cricket for long periods of time to put them under pressure. That will be the endeavour. Our style of play will not change,” said Shastri, who was retained as team director after India registered a historic Test series win in Sri Lanka recently.
“If you reflect on our performances in Australia and Sri Lanka, you will see that consistency was the difference between defeat and victory. Sustained brilliance will be the key against the Proteas,” he said.
Asked if consistency would mean winning the key moments, he said, “Yes, that’s exactly what I am talking about. And that’s not letting the opposition off the hook after having them under pressure demands a lot of patience.
“We were not patient enough both in Australia and during the first Test in Sri Lanka. Once the patience and discipline came, in the next two Tests, we saw the results,” he told bcci.tv
India and South Africa square off for the first time in a four-Test series, in addition to playing five ODIs and three T20s. The tour begins with a T20 International match at Dharamsala on October 2.
Shastri said that fast bowler Ishant Sharma will have to learn how to draw the line while playing aggressive cricket and conceded that the team will miss him in the first Test against the Proteas after he breached ICC Code of Conduct during the Sri Lanka series.
“I know he has copped a lot of flak over the aggression and he will learn where to draw the line. But let me assure you, he has the backing of the entire team. I want him to be aggressive and I will be the first one to push him in that direction. But I will also mark the line.
“We will miss him for the first Test. He is our most experienced fast bowler. He bowled beautifully in Sri Lanka and is in the form of his life. With a little bit of luck, he could have picked 10 more wickets in that series,” said the former India all-rounder.
Talking further about Ishant, the team director said that the pacer bowled like “million dollars” in Sri Lanka to play a big part in India’s Test series win.