Shastri: ‘We’re far from ready’ for the World Cup

Ravi Shastri India not ready 2019 World Cup cricket

Ravi Shastri: “There’s a lot of work to do over the next few months”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

India head coach Ravi Shastri believes that his side have a long way to go before they can consider themselves prepared for the 2019 World Cup, which will be held in England and Wales.

India are coming off their first-ever bilateral ODI series win in South Africa after they demolished the Proteas 5-1.

Despite India demolishing South Africa and portraying qualities that will definitely make them a force to be reckoned with, Shastri insists that his side still have a lot of work to do.

“We’re far from ready. This is a great win. But there’s a lot of work to do over the next few months,” he told the Times of India.

While India’s top order held their own throughout the ODI series, especially captain Virat Kohli, who scored 558 runs at an average of 186, Shastri conceded that the middle order batsmen need to step up and fire if the team lose a few early wickets.

“I’ll be the first to admit our middle-order batting has looked ordinary,” he said. “We failed to convert good starts into big totals. So, there are factors we’re looking at. At the same time, there are players back in India who’ve been doing well in domestic cricket.

“Over the last six months, we had conveyed (to those who are potential India caps) what the team will be looking at, in terms of skills, fitness, challenges etc. Once this tour concludes, it’ll be time to revisit those conversations.”

Shastri added that he was highly impressed with the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav as they bamboozled the South African batsmen throughout the series.

Kuldeep was the highest wicket-taker with 17 victims at an average of 13.88, while Chahal claimed 16 wickets at an average of 16.37.

The 55-year-old also singled out pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah for praise as he took eight wickets at an average of 20.87.

“(Yuzvendra) Chahal and (Kuldeep) Yadav have been brilliant and Boom (Jasprit Bumrah), what can I say about him,” Shastri said. “It’s been a fantastic effort. As I said, we’ll sit and go through all of this once we’re done here.

“The most important bit? Look at the middle-order. If we can work on that and improve, there’s no stopping this Indian team.”

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