Virat Kohli Ravi Shastri India
Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri have fallen in love with aggression a little too muchReuters

In a media conference on Monday, Ravi Shastri, the India team director – you know, that fancy name for a coach – was his usual bullish self -- justifying the theory behind playing five bowlers, and backing Rohit Sharma over Cheteshwar Pujara, purely because Rohit has the "ability to counter-attack" and Pujara can't "keep the tempo" going.

Aggression (of course it was) was another word that Shastri used quite a few times in the press conference, with that mindset, apparently set to win India games left, right and centre.

So far, for all the "aggressive mindset" and penchant to play "attacking cricket" India have flattered to deceive. The results have not backed the big talk, be that from Shastri or Virat Kohli.

It could all change, though – and some feel it should – against a Sri Lanka side seriously struggling to cope without their batting stars.

However, you do feel there has been too much talking of late from the India camp, and very little walking to back it up. The batsmen have struggled more often than not, while the bowlers haven't fared too well either.

India and overseas Tests are far from a match made in heaven, and having suffered losses in New Zealand, South Africa, England and Australia in the recent past, time is certainly ripe for Shastri, Kohli and the rest to notch up a series victory outside the comforts of home.

While Sri Lanka is not exactly an "away" tour, considering the similar nature of the conditions, it is a place where India haven't won a series for 22 years.

If Shastri's talk is to be believed, India are well on their way to change that record, because this team India play "aggressive cricket to win. You don't come to a cricket ground to draw a cricket match," he said.

Go down 120/5 on Day 1 of the first Test in Galle, and that "aggressive intent" will get drowned in a hurry. Yes, it is better to show the will to win than play it safe, like India used to do a little too often for comfort under MS Dhoni.

However, there is such a fine line between aggression and foolhardiness – just ask Australia – that if you even get a toe across that line, there is no return. So, India need to be very careful about showing that "aggressive intent" and not getting too carried away.

It is easy to fall in love with aggression in cricket, but patience is a beautiful thing too, especially in Test cricket. For instance, if a Sri Lanka bowler is bowling a really good spell, knuckling down and seeing the spell through, instead of "showing aggression" and getting yourself out (a brief that can be given to quite a few of the India batsmen), will win you the day.

Aggressive intent, coupled with patience and the ability to read the situation of the game and accordingly adapt should be India's mantra in this Sri Lanka Test series, otherwise that wait for a series win will go past the 22-year mark.

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