Former India skipper and manager Ravi Shastri spoke to English commentator Mark Nicholas after India’s thumping 130 run win against South Africa at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. During the interview, he said that he was elated about India’s victory and heaped his praises on Shikhar Dhawan and the Indian bowlers. He also warned other teams who take India lightly and asked them to underestimate Indian team at their own peril. Here is what Shastri said in the interview:
His take on India’s win against South Africa:
It was a clinical and professional performance, in batting, bowling and fielding, covering all the departments of the game. It was fabulous. When they play like that, you think they can achieve anything. Today, I never thought that the players were detached for a single moment or dropped their guard. They were focussed all through.
On Shikhar Dhawan’s rise to the occasion:
I would say those people who were asking why Shikhar was there in (World Cup) squad, they don’t know their cricket. He committed some mistakes during Test series against Australia. He got the starts but got out due to mistakes. But now against Pakistan and today, he was fabulous. He did everything right today, in his approach, shot selection.
India’s bowling and fielding:
Fielding was fabulous, bowling also. You would think it was Australia or South Africa not Indian players fielding. But when Australia or South Africa does that, people sit up and say fabulous fielding, not in case of India. The same in bowling. When our three pacers were bowling 140km/h, people will not say what a fabulous bowling.
On India’s performance after a poor first leg of the Aussie tour:
There was a lot of cricket before this World Cup. We played great cricket in Test series against Australia which we lost 0-4. The guys were unlucky and the Test series could have been 1-1. Then, there was the tri-series which not everyone gave much importance. But the itinerary of the tri-series was chalked out long time ago. So the players (had) to play that also. But everybody knew that the World Cup was what matters. If we had won that tri-series and lost these first two matches (in the World Cup), no one would have counted us. So we needed the break after the tri-series and the boys have come stronger.
He also warned other teams not to underestimate India. He concluded with Underestimate this Indian team at your own peril. We have the batting and with this bowling attack, we are ready to test any team.