Nepal | January 19, 2021

India’s ‘fabulous five’ can overcome pink-ball inexperience: Shastri

Reuters
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NEW DELHI: India coach Ravi Shastri acknowledged his team lack Australia’s pink-ball experience but is convinced their “fabulous five” pacemen can bowl the tourists to a second successive test series victory Down Under.

Australia have played seven day-night tests, the most by any country, since 2015 and won each of them.

India were late to embrace the innovation and played their only pink-ball test against Bangladesh in Kolkata last year.

A mouth-watering four-test series between the top two teams in the World Test Championship standings will get underway with a pink-ball contest at Adelaide from December 17.

“We begin with pink-ball cricket where we lack experience,” Shastri told the Sportstar magazine.

“We have played just one pink-ball test, but there is a qualitative difference between them (Bangladesh) and Australia. It is like cheese and chalk.

“Our boys have not played much of pink-ball in domestic cricket, but I just want them to go and enjoy their game.”

Skipper Virat Kohli, who led India to their maiden test series victory in Australia two seasons ago, will return home after the Adelaide test to attend the birth of his first child.

While it would take some sheen off India’s batting lineup in the last three tests, Shastri was confident India’s five-member pace attack, which includes Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, could defend decent totals.

“We have a fabulous five … You put up runs on the board and watch these fast bowlers hunt the opposition. They can beat Australia in their own den.”

There was no pressure on the team and India would play “fearless cricket” against an opponent Shastri considered the toughest.

“Ask any international player and he will tell you that it is different. It is challenging. Toughest used to be the West Indies in the ’80s and post that it has been Australia.”


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