Shastri: Bubble life has affected India

Outgoing India head coach Ravi Shastri, who is to be succeeded by Rahul Dravid, backs side to come back strong at the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia; “It will happen another time for this team, they’re far too talented not to get a big trophy in their hands soon”

By PA Media

Last Updated: 09/11/21 11:42am

India were knocked out of the T20 World Cup at the Super 12 stage with Pakistan and New Zealand making the semi-finals from Group 2

Outgoing India head coach Ravi Shastri believes bubble life has taken a toll on his players following their disappointing group-stage elimination at the T20 World Cup.

Virat Kohli signed off as India’s T20 captain after his 50th match in charge without being called upon to bat as India ended their campaign in which they failed to reach the semi-finals with a nine-wicket thrashing of Namibia.

India were heavily fancied ahead of the tournament but a bulging schedule has led to many players, including Kohli, being away from home for several months and complicating matters has been the necessity of controlled environments.

Live ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

November 10, 2021, 1:30pm

Live on

Live ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

November 11, 2021, 1:30pm

Live on

While Shastri, who is set to be replaced by Rahul Dravid following the end of his tenure of more than four years, was adamant he was not making excuses, he believes the restrictive nature of bubbles impacted his players.

“When a guy doesn’t go home for six months, he might have his family with him, but if he’s got parents and other family and you don’t get a chance to see them, it’s not easy at all,” Shastri said.

Virat Kohli (right) has stepped down as India’s T20 captain

“I don’t care who you are, if your name is (Australia great) Don Bradman (who retired with a Test average of 99.94), if you’re in a bubble as well, your average will come down because you’re human.

“This is not something where you just put petrol in the backside and then expect the guy to move on in overdrive. It’s tough times. In life it’s not what you accomplish, it’s what you overcome and that’s what this team has done.

“They’ve shown the drive to hang in there, no complaints, but sooner or later the bubble will burst so you’ve got to be careful.”

Kohli will continue to play T20 cricket for India and remains captain in Test matches and one-day internationals

India’s Super 12 exit in the Gulf came down to starting their schedule with heavy defeats to arch-rivals Pakistan and New Zealand, who are both into the semis, but Shastri tipped the side to bounce back in Australia next year.

He added: “Yes, we’re disappointed with the result in the first two games here but, let’s be honest, I’m not here to make any sorts of excuses. We lacked the daring in the second game against New Zealand.

“It’s something for the boys to learn and they’ll get an opportunity again next year. It’s not often you have two World Cups in 12 months, so hopefully they’ll go and kick some butt there.

“It’s not happened this time, but it will happen another time for this team, they’re far too talented not to get a big trophy in their hands soon. Somewhere down the line, the rub of the green should go their way.”

Ravi Shastri says winning a Test series in Australia is the top moment of his tenure as India head coach

Shastri has overseen two famous Test series wins over Australia at the helm, while India also hold a 2-1 lead over England, with the fifth and final match deferred until summer 2022 after being postponed due to coronavirus concerns among the touring camp.

Shastri added: “Nothing beats Australia and against England, we’re up in the series. It will be the longest time we’re up in the series, till next year.

“It feels good. It’s been one heck of a journey for me, personally.”

Watch the T20 World Cup semi-finals live on Sky Sports Cricket. England face New Zealand in Abu Dhabi from 1.30pm on Wednesday, before Pakistan play Australia in Dubai from 1.30pm on Thursday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.