The Indian team had a very ordinary time touring England. They lost the Test series 1-4, and even head coach, Ravi Shastri had to eat back his words.
Shastri, known for his flamboyant image, backed the boys before the start of the tour. He had said the current side is by far the best Indian team to travel to foreign soil. To his misery, the results turned out to be different.
The England all-rounders had a great time, scoring runs with the bat and bagging wickets at all. One such player was Sam Curran, who impressed one and all from the start.
Curran bailed his side out of trouble on multiple occasions and bowled well too. Shastri said it was the young man who did much more damage alone than the entire squad.
“I would not say (we) failed badly. But we tried. We must give credit where it is due. Virat and me were asked to pick the Man of the Series (for England), and we both picked Sam Curran. Look where Curran has scored, and, that is where he hurt us. More than England, it was Curran who hurt us,” Shastri told ESPN Cricinfo in an interview.
Ravi Shastri defends his side
India missed the plot in the very first game once the hosts recovered after losing six wickets inside 90 runs. India started off well with the bat but lost wickets in regular intervals.
“In the first Test, England were 87 for 7 (in the second innings) at Edgbaston, he (Curran) got the runs. In the fourth Test, they were 86 for 6 (first innings) in Southampton; he got the runs. We were 50 for 0 (first innings) at Edgbaston, he got the wickets. So at crucial stages in this series, he chipped in with runs and wickets. That was the difference between the two sides,” Shastri explained.
On the criticism and mocking, the coach said his side is still number one in the rankings. He went on to say Joe Root and his men know that the Indian team pushed them hard to earn victories.
“We are still the No 1 team in the world. And England knows how well we fought. Their media knows how well we fought. Our fans know how well we fought. Their public knows how well we fought. We know inside how well we fought,” he added.