Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 7 (ANI): India head coach Ravi Shastri said the team management showed empathy on players because of the unprecedented times forced by the coronavirus pandemic which curtailed the movement of people and being a sportsperson many of the cricketers could not train for that period.
Indian cricketers returned to the field for the first time in September to play the Indian Premier League (IPL) since the pandemic began. After that, they toured Australia to play three ODIs and as many T20Is, and then the four-match historic Test series which India won by 2-1.
While answering a question on what does he mean by empathy Shastri said in a virtual press-conference, “You had to be patient more than anything else. We started in Australia with two losses, in normal circumstances you can go straight to the point and say can be a little aggressive, you can be straight to the individual and tell him to pull up your socks. But I made up my mind with my team management that we gonna show empathy for six months a lot of the guys have not gone out of their flats. So, I knew very clearly that it would take time. It did not take too long.”
“This team takes pride in winning, this team does not mind losing as long as they throw punches. So, it was a matter of just being patient for one switch of result and it happened in the third ODI against Australia. And then we did not look back. From lockdown to get unlocked and then pull off something special was very special. So, that’s where empathy came in,” he added.
Team India on Saturday roared into the final of the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) following an emphatic 3-1 series win over England.
Virat Kohli’s men, who defeated England in the fourth and final Test by an innings and 25 runs at the Narendra Modi Stadium, will now face New Zealand in the WTC final slated to be played from June 18 to 22, with June 23 as the reserve day at the iconic Lord’s Stadium in London.
“I said to the boys with adversity comes an opportunity. I said cricket has never seen something like this since the second world war. So, what you guys are going through is unreal, it is against what you used to but you have no choice. Leave everything aside and focus on the goal. It is channeling your energies from negative to positive in the direction of what you have come here for and that is — to play for India,” Shastri said.
India will now lock horns with England in the five-match T20I series at the Narendra Modi Stadium starting from March 12. (ANI)