Ravi Shastri, the head coach of India, was full of praise of his team after the Virat Kohli-led team whitewashed the three-match series against South Africa for the first time ever, after an emphatic 202 run and an innings-win in the third and final Test in Ranchi on Tuesday.
India wrapped up the match in the space of just 12 balls with debutant Shahbaz Nadeem finishing the match by setting himself up for a hattrick for his next match. He scalped the wickets of Theunis de Bruyn and Lungi Ngidi in two consecutive balls at his home ground JSCA International Stadium Complex.
“It is a team effort. Normally, in India, you have two players hogging the limelight. But in this series, everyone chipped in. That is what you want,” said Shastri ecstatically, speaking after the game.
After lauding the collective effort of his team, he pointed out what their gameplan was going to be — to take 20 wickets no matter what the pitch is like.
“We had a wish that we could take the pitch out of the equation. We always wanted to take 20 wickets irrespective of where we were playing. Our batting is pretty much like a Ferrari taking off. We are just focused on taking 20 wickets,” continued the 57-year-old.
Shastri, a fellow Mumbaikar, lauded Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma as well for their contribution with the bat and according to him, the third Test centurion was going nowhere and the Man of the Series was the find for him at the top of the order.
“Ajinkya Rahane was always there. He just needed to rediscover himself. When you need to open in Tests, you might get out in the first 10 balls. But Rohit did well to hang in there for the first two hours. And things changed after lunch for him to take advantage of that. The job satisfaction that an opener gets is wonderful.”
Finishing off, the head coach appreciated the performance of the 30-year-old Shahbaz Nadeem, who bagged four wickets in his Test debut after taking 410 wickets in 110 first-class matches.
“Extremely impressed with Nadeem. He comes over the top and has a great wrist position. The guy has put in the yards at the domestic level and am glad he finally had his chance at his home ground. He had no nerves and bowled three maidens on the trot,” Shastri concluded.
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