Trailing the four-match series 2-0 after managing a draw in the third cricket Test, India have already conceded the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to Australia but Team Director Ravi Shastri is not bothered about the scoreline and still believes in his young team.
“I am not bothered about the scoreline because of the way they have played. I have seen teams in the past, where we have gone down, buckled under pressure and there has been no competition whatsoever. Here they have taken the attack to the opposition,” Shastri told ‘Star Sports’.
“The average age of this side is 26. Again, no excuse. But give this side, like I said, 12 months and you watch, they will be a bullet side. They will be ready to play anywhere, he added.
The visitors lost the first match in Adelaide by 48 runs and conceded the Brisbane game by four wickets before putting up a fight at the MCG and Shastri said the loopholes notwithstanding, the team is fighting on.
“Areas are there they have to be addressed. Like better batting from the tail. How do you cope with pressure? How do you don’t have batting collapses? How do you eradicate your mistakes and don’t keep repeating them. Those have to be addressed,” the former Indian captain said.
“But this is the first draw at MCG in the last 10 years. And when you have a scoreboard total of 530 and the batting that I saw on Day 3, I think I have not seen for a long long time. I think whole of Australia stood up and acknowledged the fact that two young turks took the attack to the opposition.
“Everyone in Australia came to know that this Indian team has not just come out here to play cricket. They have come out here to compete and look to try and win. And that is the most important thing for me. The scoreline doesn’t matter.”
The 52-year-old Shastri, who played 80 Tests and 150 ODIs during his 11-year-old career, opined that the team does miss a Sourav Ganguly-like all-rounder.
“What we miss overseas is a batsman in the top six who can bowl. Someone like Sourav. When Sourav played he could bowl 10 or 15 overs. A medium-pace bowling all-rounder overseas. If you have that, it will be a big help. And that will be the endeavour, he said.