Ravi Shastri rues missed chances on England tour

India coach Ravi Shastri focuses on positives from tour of England  despite 4-1 series defeat.

Shastri insisted that India had shown improvement during their tour of England, and lauded  them for being competitive but acknowledged that the team was trying to address their inability  to close out games.

“It was a tough tour,” said Shastri in an interview with media channel. “And tough lessons to  be learned. Deep down we know in every Test match barring Lord’s we had our chances.

Lord’s we lost and Nottingham we won. In the other three Tests we had our chances big time.” “There are plenty of positives to take away, but it is time now to address why we have come  so close and cannot get past the finishing line, and we have discussed that,” he said.

Shastri heaped rich praise on the bowling unit and although it might appear that the batsman  failed, the coach pointed out that England’s batsmen hadn’t done too much better, an ICC report on Friday said.

“India got much better as a bowling unit… As far as batting goes, it was tough for both sides.  When the ball moves around so much and it seams, I don’t care who the batsman is, it is going  to be tough,” he said.

“A moving Dukes ball will test anybody. So it took us time, but we got better at it as the series  went on. As opposed to guys who are born and bred on these [pitches] who still struggled all the  way. That is reality, which should be accepted,” the Indian coach said.

Shastri felt that one way to address the challenges faced in overseas conditions would be to  play a higher number of practice games. India had played just one shortened practice match  ahead of the England series, but Shastri insisted that his team simply didn’t have the time to  squeeze in any more games. He added that India would be looking to play a couple of practice  games when they tour Australia later in the year.

“When you have a schedule as tight as this and when you have a memorandum of understanding  that has already been formulated, with a choc-a-bloc calendar, there is very little you can do in  terms of scheduling practice matches. Now, we have requested for a couple of (warm-up) games  in Australia before the Test series,” Shastri said.

The Indian coach felt that difference between the two sides was Sam Curran, who regularly  posted crucial lower order runs or chipped in with key wickets, and was duly named Player of  the Series for England.

He felt that difference between the two sides was Sam Curran, who regularly posted crucial  lower order runs or chipped in with key wickets, and was duly named Player of the Series for  England.

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