Kolkata, Oct 8 (IANS) Indian team director Ravi Shastri on Thursday termed the T20 series loss against South Africa as a “great exposure” just before the World T20 which is scheduled to be held in India next year.
The third T20 was rained out at the Eden Gardens on Thursday, but the Proteas had already bagged the series 2-0 by winning at Dharamsala and Cuttack. But Shastri did not want to emphasize much on the loss.
“It’s a very long series, this was a great exposure. We might have lost the series but I treat it as a good exposure in the build up of the World Cup,” Shastri told media persons here.
The former India all rounder said India now has a young team and the management is still figuring out ways to find the right combination. “The first game was a tough one but in the second we were outplayed. Having said that, the reason why I said exposure is because as team India, as a unit, we have played very little T20 cricket in any bilateral series.”
“It is a very young team. We are still trying to figure out the way to go about it, what should be our best combination and what is the best way forward and there’s probably no better preparation than to play than play South Africa who are probably the best T20 outfit,” he said.
Shastri also said that he believes the tour will help India become a better side down the line. “In Cuttack, we could have played much better, but we did not. Could have done something here but it got rained off. I am disappointed but (it is) nothing that will make me lose my sleep,” he said.
Asked if leg-spinner Amit Mishra, a part of the T20 squad, was not given a match because of the upcoming One-Day series and Test matches where he might play a pivotal role, Shastri said:” Yes, there’s lot of cricket still to be played. We will put him where his value will be the most. We have to take care of our bowlers.”
On finding a new number 6 for India in T20s as M.S. Dhoni has already made his wishes known to bat up the order, the director said:” We are keen on December to find out the options for no.6 as then there will be a lot of T20 games. It is a very crucial position. So we need to find who suits it the best.” Shastri also blamed the series loss to the lack of T20 cricket in the past year.”
“We haven’t been playing, one year down the line after playing against England we have only played two matches because there is so much of other cricket happening,” he said.