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We had our moments but missed some important ones: Ravi Shastri

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Bengaluru : Indian Cricket Team Director Ravi Shashtri addresses media during the training camp for the upcoming series against South Africa at NCA in Bengaluru on Friday. PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak (PTI9_25_2015_000099B)

(G.N.S) Dt. 23
Shastri sees biggest positive in the pacer’s performance
The Indian team has been under fire in the series and coach Ravi Shastri was typically combative with his response during an interaction with the media here on Monday.
He said India would need to change the way it prepares for important overseas tours. “I am sure, in the future, when itineraries are made, preparation will be taken into account, there is absolutely no doubt about that. You have to get there a couple of weeks earlier and prepare.”
Asked about the controversies regarding the selection of the eleven in this series, he observed, “If Ajinkya [Rahane] had played first, and not done well, you would have asked me the same question, why Rohit [Sharma] hasn’t played. Rohit played, he didn’t do well, you are asking me why Ajinkya didn’t play. The same thing with the pacemen.”
Queried about India making too many changes, Shastri responded, “Chopping and changing overseas is easier. In India, you don’t need to chop and change because you know what the conditions are. Overseas, you go on current form and you go on conditions and you see which player can adapt to certain conditions quicker than the other.”
On India’s performance in the first two Tests, Shastri said, “We did have our moments in both Tests and we looked like the No. 1 team when we bowled out South Africa for 130 at Newlands, or when we closed the gap at Centurion, thanks to Virat’s brilliant innings and had them two-down with just around 30 ahead. Not many teams look half that when they come to India. We fought back, did well, but missed some important moments.”
Shastri said the way the Indian pacemen have fired in the series has been the biggest positive for him.
“I would rather focus on the 20 wickets we have taken. That gave us a chance to win in both Tests. If our top order can fire, it will be a good Test here.”
Dwelling on Cheteshwar Pujara’s run outs in both innings of the second Test, Shastri said, “It hurts a lot. As it is, the conditions are very tough, and on top of that, if someone gets run out, then you feel bad. They are schoolboy errors and have to be rectified. In tough conditions like these where there is not much difference between the two teams, you cannot afford to give away wickets like that. The boys have been told that.”
Talking about the grass on the Wanderers pitch, Shastri noted, “Well, there is grass on the track and you expect that overseas. We are not here to moan about the tracks because the pitch is the same for both sides. We are not here to complain.”
About India asking the curator to roll the practice pitches on Monday, Shastri said, “They were damp. I thought they might have watered it last night, it was a little spongy and two-paced. By rolling it, we wanted it to be a little harder.”

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