Ravi Shastri: One-day cricket holds least priority for us right now
India are all set to face New Zealand in the second and the final Test of the series which begins on Saturday at Christchurch. However, the nightmare of a 10-wicket loss in the first Test still remains in the sub-conscious of the Indian players and the think tank. This is probably why head coach Ravi Shastri on Friday said that his team has Test cricket and T20Is as their number one priority considering the upcoming schedule.
Two T20 World Cups will be played in 2020 (Australia) and 2021 (India) after which the final of the World Test Championship will also be played next year. India is currently at the top of the World Test Championship standings.
“I would not judge ODI and Test cricket. For us, the least priority is ODI cricket at the moment looking at the schedule and what is coming in the next two years. Number one priority is Test cricket and then comes the T20Is. So, if you look at that, we have had a great run in the Test arena,” coach Shastri told reporters ahead of the second Test against the Kiwis on Friday.
Shastri, however, said his side had learned a lot about how New Zealand would bowl to them at Hagley Oval when the game starts on Saturday and the sting of defeat was on their minds as they look to level the two-match series.
“We were outplayed in the first test but I always believe that a shake-up like that is good. It opens your mindset,” Shastri told reporters.
“If you have not tasted defeat you can have a closed or fixed mindset. Here, when you see what has happened, it is good, it gives you opportunities to learn.
“You know what New Zealand are doing and what to expect. It’s a good lesson and the boys are up for the challenge.”
Shastri did not confirm the playing XI on Friday but hinted there was some debate over whether Ravindra Jadeja or Ravichandran Ashwin would occupy the spinning all-rounder spot in the side.
A final decision would be made just before the toss on Saturday, although Shastri said that Ashwin’s batting had slipped.
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The off-spinner, who has four test centuries along with his 365 wickets, has not passed 50 since August 2017 and has scored a total of 126 runs in his last 10 matches.
“He is a world class bowler,” Shastri said. “There is absolutely no doubt about it. But… he will be disappointed in the way he has batted and he will need to improve that.”
New Zealand pace bowler Trent Boult, who was eyeing a green Hagley Oval wicket on Friday, said the Indians would definitely have learned and adapted after the hosts bogged them down in Wellington.
Boult and his new ball partner Tim Southee took 14 of the 20 wickets to fall in Wellington and will welcome back Neil Wagner after he missed the first game to attend the birth of his first child.
“We’re definitely expecting them to adapt pretty quickly and be positive coming into this test match. Their records speak for themselves,” Boult said.
“They’re number one in the world for a reason and that’s solely because they can adapt to any conditions.”
With Reuters inputs