Ravi Shastri says India’s current batting line-up is their strongest ever in T20 cricket.
But the team needs to improve its fielding in Australia, he says.
India are aiming for a second T20 World Cup win in Australia this summer.
Ravi Shastri, India’s former coach, said that India’s current batting line-up is the best it has ever been in T20 cricket, but the team needs to improve its fielding in Australia if it wants to win a second T20 World Cup.
India won the first tournament in 2007, but when Shastri, a former all-rounder, was in charge of the team last year, they didn’t make it to the next round.
India’s top three batters are Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Virat Kohli. The middle order is made up of Suryakumar Yadav, who is ranked second in the world in T20, Hardik Pandya, and either Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik.
“I’ve been part of the system for the last seven years as coach and now watching it from outside, this is the strongest batting line-up India has had, if you look at youth, experience, at players peaking in this format of the game,” Shastri said at the Mumbai Press Club on Wednesday.
“What India lacked in the last five-six years is the number four, five, six. Now Surya coming at four, Hardik at five, Pant or Karthik at six, it makes a massive difference. It allows the top order to play in the manner they are playing.
“Even if you are two down in the powerplay, you still have the ammunition at the back to consistently take on the bowlers, which wasn’t the case for some time.”
Shastri was sure that their batsmen were strong, but he said that India couldn’t afford to make mistakes in the field.
Shastri, who coached India from the middle of 2017 until the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates last year, said, “Fielding is one area where India will have to pick up and start from the beginning.”
“Those 15-20 runs you save will make all the difference because otherwise every time you go out to bat, you will have to get those extra runs.
“This is where other sides, Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa, they field like crazy. Sri Lanka won the Asia Cup on their fielding.”
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