Forced break will help the players recoup, feels Shastri
Indian cricket head coach Ravi Shastri believes the forced break, owing to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, would have rekindle the energy levels of players. Speaking to Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain and Rob Key on a Sky Sports Podcast, the 57-year-old reiterated that Team India needed to fill up the cracks following what was a gruelling New Zealand tour. Here is more.
"The rest cannot be a bad thing because towards the end of the New Zealand tour, you could see some cracks coming up when it came to mental fatigue, physical fitness and injuries. The amount of cricket was beginning to take its toll," Shastri said.
Despite routing New Zealand 5-0 in the T20I series, India were cleaned up in the ODI (0-3) and Test series (0-2). The tour was particularly forgettable for India skipper Virat Kohli as he could muster only 218 runs in 11 innings across all formats. The 31-year-old averaged 9.50 in the two-match Test series, his worst in an away series.
Since the completion of World Cup 2019, India have played as many as 14 bilateral international series. The Kohli-led side was unbeaten in all three formats until February 2020 when they locked on with New Zealand in the ODI series. Overall, in 40 internationals, India have won 26 and lost 10. They beat Australia 2-1 in their last home (ODI) series, earlier this year.
Shastri described the plight of certain players who played cricket all year round and were pivotal in India's victories. "There are certain players who played all formats. You can imagine the toll it has taken on them," he stated. He added, "Being on the field, adjusting from T20s to Test matches and all the travel that goes with that because we travelled a lot."