Shastri wards off ‘negative bone’; prepared to ‘look ugly and dirty’

Coach Ravi Shastri has implored India to be more resilient, as they attempt to bounce back from consecutive Test defeats at the hands of England.

Losers at Edgbaston and Lord’s, the tourists will start the third Test at Trent Bridge two-nil down in the five-match series.

Their inability to cope against the home side’s seam attack, spearheaded by fast bowler James Anderson, and a couple of substandard showings with the ball has warranted plenty of criticism.

“Conditions have been tough, as you have seen right through this series. But that’s where character comes into play and discipline comes into play, the resolve to know where your off-stump is, leave a lot of balls, be prepared to look ugly and dirty and show some grit,” said Shastri.

“One thing for sure in this unit, there is no negative bone. Okay, despite of what happened in the last Test match, conditions favoured England and that is no excuse whatsoever, it can happen to any side. We are here without a negative bone, wanting to play to win, as simple as that.”

Wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav will unlikely retain his position in the XI for the clash in Nottingham, where an additional seamer is the probable choice. Seamer Jasprit Bumrah, who is nursing a hand injury, might play.

“In hindsight, it was an error. We should have gone, seeing the conditions, with an extra seamer, at Lord’s. It might have helped. Then again, you didn’t know how much it would rain, whether a match could go into the final day where just in case spinner is needed and the ball starts to turn, would we have needed Kuldeep,” added Shastri.

“But in hindsight the way things panned out, the amount it rained, the time we lost, a seamer could have been a better option.”