Shastri supports Kohli, Pujara

India

New director of cricket Ravi Shastri is eager too see an appropriate response from batsmen Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, who endured very poor stretches of form during India's three-one Test series loss to England recently.

New director of cricket Ravi Shastri is eager too see an appropriate response from batsmen Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, who endured very poor stretches of form during India's three-one Test series loss to England recently.

Kohli scored a mere 134 runs in 10 innings across the five Tests, while Pujara gathered a mere 222. Both were outshone by all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin and tail-ender Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who bat substantially lower in the order.

"I was hard on Pujara and Kohli specifically because they came here with big reputations. And they have been brought down to earth with their techniques being found out against the moving ball. And there is nothing wrong in that, it has happened to the biggest players," Shastri told <i>ESPNcricinfo</i>.

"Rahul Dravid in 1999 in Australia – he could not get a run. It has happened to Sunil Gavaskar in 1981 in Australia. Now the true test of Cheteshwar and Pujara's character will be how they bounce back. I have absolutely no doubt that not only will they bounce back, they will excel very, very soon."

The Indians' next Test series will be against the West Indies between 30 October and 19 November. Four more Tests against Australia – in Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney – will follow later in the year.

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