Ravi Shastri is proud of the boys

Having suffered back-to-back defeats in South Africa and England, India began the Test series against Australia in earnest, winning the opening match

By TT Bureau in Adelaide and Calcutta
  • Published 11.12.18, 4:53 PM
  • Updated 11.12.18, 4:53 PM
  • 2 mins read
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Ravi Shastri The Telegraph file picture

“To hell with the nets,” was what Ravi Shastri said on Monday, after a memorable 31-run win in the opening Test against Australia. What he meant was that the India players would need rest after the hard work in Adelaide.

Having suffered back-to-back defeats in South Africa and England, India began the Test series against Australia in earnest, winning the opening match Down Under for the first time in over seven decades.

“We lost the first Test in England by 31, lost the first Test in South Africa by 60-70, so this is a very good feeling for the boys to come out on top. When you get off to a good start, there’s belief,” Shastri said.

The teams will be heading to Perth for the second Test that starts on December 14 and Shastri, who is confident that the fast bowlers will have a crucial role to play, hinted at ditching net practice ahead of the clash.

“They have to rest, to hell with the nets. You just come there, mark your attendance and get away to the hotel. We know the Perth track is quick, it’s a drop in surface, there will be something there for the fast bowlers.”

A collective performance by the four-man Indian bowling attack — pacers Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin — helped India earn a 15-run first innings lead before they completed a rare win in this part of the world.

“The bowlers were brilliant in the first innings, defending 250, the discipline was magnificent. They’ve worked on it, it’s not come overnight. As a bowling unit, when you show that discipline, it doesn’t matter which side you play against. You will be successful,” Shastri said.

Meanwhile, Shastri couldn’t keep his feelings in check after the win. Speaking to Sunil Gavaskar, Michael Clarke and Mark Butcher, who were discussing the game in a television studio in Mumbai, Shastri came up with a rather interesting way to describe the tense moments of the game on the final day, when the hosts were inching closer to the title.

“I just said in Hindi, just a little while ago, bilkul chhorenge nahi ... Lekin thodi der ke liye wahan g*** muh mein tha,” said Shastri on air. The social media was soon abuzz discussing Shastri’s comment.