Former India head coach Ravi Shastri said India used to have a “bit timid” batting approach in T20Is and he praised the renewed style under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia. Ravi Shastri, speaking to Star Sports in the lead up to Asia Cup 2022, revealed that he has had discussions regarding India’s conservative approach at the top of the order with the team during his tenure. Notably, the said approach was one of the reasons behind India’s early exit from T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE.
India lost crucial Super 12 encounters to Pakistan and New Zealand and in both the matches, the top-order was rattled by the quality of the opposition bowling attack. However, the men in blue have witnessed a huge change in approach since Rohit Sharma took over as captain. Right after the T20 World Cup exit, Rohit had led the way by being ultra-aggressive at the top in a T20I series against New Zealand at home.
Elaborating the same, Ravi Shastri said, “They should not change the approach Even when I was coach, we discussed we were a bit timid at the top considering the players we had down the order. It is the right approach. You will lose a few games in between but if you start winning with this approach you can take that confidence in big games and use the same tactics.”
While India seems to be having great form ahead of Asia Cup, starting August 27, focus will be on Virat Kohli and vice-captain KL Rahul as they are returning to T20I after a considerable time away. However, Shastri expressed confidence that both Kohli and Rahul will be able to adapt to India’s new aggressive approach sooner than later.
Ravi Shastri explained, “Why not? They are very experienced players. They have played enough IPL and T20s and it should not be tough for them to adjust. With Rishabh, Hardik, Jadeja there is enough depth in the middle and lower order to get the innings back on track if top order falls cheaply.”
Former Indian head coach also came in support of Virat Kohli to end his lean run in Asia Cup.
Ravi Shastri concluded, “I haven’t spoken to him (recently). Mental fatigue can creep into the best in the world. This downtime was not just needed for his body but to reflect. He will come back with a much calmer mind. He gets 50 in the first game, mouths will be shut. There is no cricketer fitter than him. People keep saying one innings can make a difference but with a player like Kohli it makes a massive difference. His hunger and passion remain undiminished.”