In a statement that has is bound to polarise opinions, India’s coach Ravi Shastri has lauded the current team under Virat Kohli for being the best travelling unit over the ‘past 15-20 years’, reports cricketcountry.com.
Replying to a question during a press conference in London on Wednesday about the familiar batting frailties of the No 1 ranked team in overseas Test matches, Shastri reiterated his stance that this unit was determined to be a good travelling team.
‘The endeavour of this team is to travel well and to compete and win,’ said Shastri.
He then went on to mention the success that Kohl’s team has in Test matches overseas since 2015.
‘If you look at the last three years, we won nine matches overseas and three series,’ he said.
Since Kohli was appointed Test captain in the aftermath of MS Dhoni’s retirement in Australia in December 2014, India have travelled to Bangladesh, the West Indies and Sri Lanka twice.
In Bangladesh, the one-off Test was drawn. In Sri Lanka in 2015 soon after that trip, India rallied back from defeat in Galle to win the next two Tests in Colombo.
Their next overseas visit was to the West Indies in 2016, where Kohli became the first Indian captain to win two Tests matches in the Caribbean.
India won the four-match series 2–0. In 2017, India went back to Sri Lanka and won all three Tests against a side struggling to overcome the gigantic void filled by the retirements of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Shastri’s next sentence compared these achievements with those of Indian teams since the late 90s.
‘I can’t see any other Indian team in the last 15-20 years who’ve had that kind of run in such a short time,’ he said. ‘And you’ve had some great players in those series.’
For the last time an Indian cricket team won a Test series in any other country other than Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the West Indies, one has to look at the 2009 tour of New Zealand when Dhoni’s team drew the three-match affair 1-0.
That team featured Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan.
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