Says Pant’s hundred ‘best counterattacking innings I’ve seen’ and pays rich tribute to curators

India head coach Ravi Shastri was at his expressive best after India completed a 3-1 series win against England, saying his team had been like “zombies” during the first Test and needed a “kick in the backside” to overturn the 0-1 deficit. Shastri also said the 3-1 scoreline didn’t necessarily reflect how close the series had actually been.

“I think the first Test in Chennai would have been different if we had a few more days off,” Shastri in an interview with broadcaster Star Sports. “It’s no excuse; England outplayed us there. The boys were like zombies. They were tired, and the fact that there was no crowds didn’t help. Because everything was flat. So was the performance. But then a kick on the backside to re-ignite the pride in the system can make a lot of difference. And it showed in the last three Tests.”