Rabada opens up on whether India are too reliant on Kohli

5 Key Run Outs In The 2nd Test That Kept The Pendulum Swinging

They can say what they want, doesn't affect us.

Indian cricket team had openly claimed that the Sri Lanka home series was a "stretched" affair. That is why we have got such a big squad.

An irate Indian skipper Virat Kohli lost his cool and snapped at the scribes, January 17, in a fiery media session after the series defeat against South Africa, his first reverse as full-time skipper. Clearly, no amount of net sessions or video analysis, no amount of camp days can substitute for time in the middle - a fact validated by Shastri, who attmpted to cite odd logistical issues for not departing from Mumbai in batches. "When you believe you can not win then you don't look forward to a Test match, as simple as that", he said.

India's campaign to record a first series win in South Africa was also short changed by a queer "on current form" selection policy that saw seasoned performer Ajinkya Rahane warm the benches to accommodate Rohit Sharma.

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Shastri defended the decisions made by the team management and said chopping and changing the playing XI is entirely dependent on the conditions and the current form of the players.

Fielding coach R Sridhar was the first to put in a serious shift, with Parthiv Patel, KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane working together as the slip cordon. "I'm not saying India don't have quality players, they do". So you have choices.

Cricketnext had earlier reported that the Indian team management had taken a close look at the Wanderers pitch on Sunday.

Shastri, however, was quick to point out that run outs in the second Test were "schoolboyish" and could have been avoided.

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"Chopping and changing overseas is easier. Once you start scoring runs, you are there (with a chance of winning)". No one expected our bowlers to fire the way they did and take 20 wickets.

"As it is the conditions are tough, so if you are run out on top of that it hurts, there's no doubt about that", Shastri said. And you hope those mistakes don't happen again because at times they are schoolboy errors.

"They have to be rectified". In tough conditions like this where there isn't much between the two teams, you can not afford to give away wickets like that. "Boys have been told that", Shastri added.

With the series squandered, India's attempts to save the ignominy of a 3-0 defeat will have them comfronting a bouncy Wanderers surface that sported a generous dose of grass covering two days out from the game.

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Shastri said the team had chances in both the matches but they failed to make the most of the situation. "The good thing though is that people won't crib and moan when matches in India will get over in two-and-a-half days". "We are not complaining about pitches, we are not complaining about conditions". The pitch we play on is the same for both sides and I would rather focus on the 20 wickets we have taken (in both Tests). "If we had batted better we might have well done that", he offered. "We have an awesome opportunity as a team to win 3-0, and that makes us even more hungry to go where no team has gone before". "Not many teams look half that when they come to India", he added.

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