Not enough to compete, India must complete games – Ravi Shastri

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The series is lost but Ravi Shastri is not “throwing the towel in” yet, and neither are the Indian team. Shastri has singled out his batsmen for not being as mentally strong as they could have been, giving away the advantage to England in situations they should have capitalised on, but despite England holding a series-winning 3-1 lead with only the fifth Test to play, India’s coach believes his team will compete hard in the match at the Oval that starts on Friday, and rectify mistakes made in the first four Tests.The five-Test series got off to an exhilarating start after England held their nerve on the fifth morning at Edgbaston to win by 31 runs. England then obliterated India at Lord’s in a matter of a few sessions. India bounced back collectively to hurt England at Trent Bridge and keep the series alive.
In Southampton India had England reeling at 86 for 6 on day one. Still, stunningly, it was India who were left bruised in the end as Sam Curran played another belligerent knock to wrest back control, just as he had done at Edgbaston in the second innings when England were stuttering at 87 for 7. India’s five-man bowling attack failed to stop Curran both times, and paid the price.
On the third day, England were in trouble once again and lost quick wickets either side of the lunch break to slip to 92 for 4, but their lower order resisted admirably and hit back to raise a big lead on a worn pitch. India had no answer to Moeen Ali, who kept pitching the ball in the footmarks and getting it to turn and bounce sharply. It was something India’s lead spinner R Ashwin failed to do, which Shastri said was the difference between the sides.
But Shastri was still not giving up. “The fact of the matter is that you had a chance,” Shastri said after India’s training on Wednesday. “The scoreline says 3-1 which means India have lost the series. What the scoreline doesn’t say is India could have been 3-1 or 2-2. And my team knows it. They would have hurt, and rightly so, after the last game. But this is a team that will not throw in the towel. It will compete. It will come out there to compete and not look to be on the first flight home, rest assured.”
After losing the series in Southampton, India captain Virat Kohli was blunt in his appraisal, saying his team could not be satisfied just with competing, and had to learn how to cross the line. Shastri reiterated that sentiment. “We have run teams close overseas, we have competed. But now it is not about just competing. We have got to complete games from here. And the endeavour is to learn, understand where you made the mistakes, take it head on and try and correct.”