Nottingham: Facing criticism from various quarters after India’s consecutive defeats in the first two Tests of the five-match rubber, head coach Ravi Shastri on Thursday urged his wards to believe in themselves when they take on England in the third cricket Test starting at Trent Bridge on Saturday.

Apart from skipper Virat Kohli, the other Indian batsmen have failed to rise to the occasion as the visitors went down at Edgbaston and Lord’s.

However, Shastri felt batsmen from both the teams have struggled so far as conditions have been tough in England.

Addressing mediapersons, the Indian coach said: “It’s not fair to single out any one player. Batsmen from both teams have struggled, you know, when the occasion demands…”

“It’s a case of mental resolve — how you put mind over matter and mental discipline will be the key as far as batsmen are concerned going forward even in this Test match.”

Shastri said his boys will need to show some mental discipline if they want to make a comeback at Trent Bridge as conditions have been tough for the visitors.

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

The 56-year-old former India all-rounder further asked his players to believe in themselves as they came from behind on quite a few occasions previously.

“Just believe in yourself, you have been in this position a couple of times before and you have responded,” expressed Shastri adding: “One thing for sure, there is no negative bone in this unit. Conditions favoured England at Lord’s but that is no excuse.. it can happen to any team.. This is a team without a negative bone wanting to win.”

Commenting on Kohli, who battled a stiff back at the second Test, the coach said: “He (Kohli) is feeling much better, moving much better and improving by the day”.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal