Ravi Shastri says India’s cricketers need empathy after coronavirus bio-bubble fatigue


When India finished their tour of New Zealand on the ultimate low by being whitewashed in the ODIs and Tests, no one ever imagined that this would be their final cricketing action for many months. The coronavirus pandemic stalled cricket all over the globe, with the Indian Premier League being postponed to September-November. India bore the brunt of the coronavirus attack and from March to May, the country was under a strict lockdown where there were no activities of any kind. When India slowly started to open up, the Indian cricket team players managed to train and play the IPL before coming for their first bilateral tour since the coronavirus pandemic to Australia. India started the tour badly by losing the first two ODIs in Sydney before winning in Canberra and also clinching the three-match T20I series 2-1.

Speaking to Times of India from Sydney, India cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri had said the player needed empathy and focus when they landed in Australia and lost the two ODIs in Sydney. “When I started the team meetings – after landing in Australia, I had only one thing in mind, empathy. It was a strict 14-day quarantine and we were locked up in our rooms. The only time we could see each other was during the warm-ups. We knew it would be tough. After the ODIs, I told the players to take it easy but he observant. By the third ODI, things became calmer.”

Shastri also pointed out that the coronavirus lockdown in India was incredibly tough and restricted their preparation only for the IPL. In that tournament, Jasprit Bumrah bowled 64 overs and did not miss a single match while Mohammed Shami also bowled 56 overs. In contrast, the Australian players had exposure playing in England for the ODIs and the T20Is and they followed it up with the IPL.

“If you remember the lockdown, nobody could move out. in cities like Mumbai, Delhi – everybody was locked inside their houses and apartments. In contrast, Australia also landed up in England for the white-ball series. When we landed in Australia, it was only the IPL that allowed the players to enter the field,” Shastri said.

Australia have plenty to prove

Australia once again lost a Twenty20 International series against India at home. Virat Kohli thus became the second skipper after Faf du Plessis to win a series in all formats in Australia. India also became the second nation after Sri Lanka to win two or more Twenty20 International bilateral series in Australia. Having won the ODI and Tests in 2018/19, Ravi Shastri said Australia have plenty to prove against India while for Virat Kohli’s team, it is a matter of stepping up for the Tests.

“We have beaten Australia in Australia. So, it is not like we have to prove ourselves. The onus is on them to stop us. In fact, we’ve beaten Australia in every format we have played them,” Shastri said.


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