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Tri-series before WC waste of time: Shastri

India entered the quadrennial extravaganza following a winless tour Down Under, losing the Test series and being knocked out early in the tri-series which had Australia and England as the two other participants.

“I think the team was mentally drained after playing the tri-series. The boys needed to recharge their batteries and freshen up for the World Cup. The break from cricket did them a world of good as they came all guns blazing when it was required. And frankly speaking, I believe this tri-series that we played was sheer waste of time and energy,” Shastri said.

Shastri was not surprised by India’s stunning turnaround of fortunes in the mega event where they have already won all their their matches, including the one against South Africa, convincingly. “I am not at all surprised. In fact, why should I be surprised that the team has started on a magnificent note. I had complete belief in the boys and their abilities. It was a case of performing to their potential and that’s exactly what has happened in the two matches against Pakistan and South Africa.
If you ask me, the script went on expected lines,” the former Indian captain said.

Heaping praise on batting mainstay Virat Kohli, Shastri said the 26-year-old batsman has been the
best-ever Indian performer on Australian soil. “As far as I am concerned, I have never seen any Indian batsman perform better than Virat on Australian soil keeping Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman in mind as they have done exceptionally well. I mean show me one Indian batsman who has scored four centuries in four Test matches. He has been phenomenal. He was dominant and that’s the reason we carried the attack back to Australian camp in all the Test matches,” he said.

When asked if Kohli is destined to break all international batting records, he said, “I think that will be putting too much burden on one individual. He should be allowed to play freely and express himself in the best way possible.”

Shami match-fit, heavy strapping on bhuvi’s ankle

India speedster Mohammed Shami has apparently recovered from his knee injury and is available for selection in team’s next group league match against West Indies on March 6. Shami was rested in the UAE match as a precautionary measure but the Bengal pacer took part in the training activity at the Murdoch University Oval Sports Complex ground on Tuesday. He took part in fielding drills and also bowled a bit.

In case Shami is picked in the playing XI, Bhuvneshwar Kumar might again be sidelined after having made a comeback against the minnows in the last game, where he got a wicket and bowled at a decent early 130 kmph pace. “Shami is fit and available for selection,” media manager RN Baba said. While there is no update on Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the pacer was seen with his ankle heavily strapped as he walked barefoot into the dressing room. It may be a case of the ankle being taped to protect it from aggravating after having bowled full tilt in the last game.

The WACA is a hard ground and a pace bowler’s ankle takes more pounding on delivery landing compared to some of the other grounds. it’s not clear whether Bhuvneshwar has again done some damage to his ankle.
PTI

PTI

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