India are preparing hard for the forthcoming Test series against Sri Lanka. They also played a warm up game against the Sri Lanka Board President's XI, which they thoroughly dominated. Their team director Ravi Shastri felt that the learning stage is over and it is high time they take an initiative to change the recent overseas record.
India have not won a Test series against Sri Lanka in the past 22 years and they would want to end that streak by beating the unsettled Sri Lanka side, who recently suffered defeats in all formats of the game against Pakistan in their home soil. The last time India had won a Test series against Sri Lanka was back in 1993 and then the Indian side was lead by Mohammad Azharuddin.
"You don't come to a cricket ground to draw a cricket match so you play a brand of cricket where you look to take the game forward and you look to take 20 wickets, that is paramount. You have got to think how you can take 20 wickets to take the game forward and win the game. It is extremely important to start winnings games. They have had the learning curve in South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia. They have played a lot of cricket overseas and that experience factor will certainly come into play when they get back to conditions they are familiar with," Shastri told reporters at a press conference in Galle on Monday.
Shastri also backed captain Virat Kohli's strategy of roping in five bowlers in the longer format of the game. Shastri stressed on the fact that Indian bowlers should be aiming those 20 wickets, which can win them the game.
"The fact that you have an additional bowler might just help you close matches that you couldn't earlier. It's not about getting big runs but about taking 20 wickets. Look at England in the Ashes. It's their depth in bowling that has made all the difference," Shastri added.
Shastri also said that Rohit Sharma deserves a place in the playing XI as he is one of the finest in the current India side. Sharma has been out of form for quite some time now and he managed to score only 15 runs in two innings in that warm up game in Colombo last week.
"Rohit is a class player. It's just a case of him smelling the coffee, spending some time in the middle and getting a start, and then we know what he can do. It could be a good position for him because he has that ability to counter attack and yet at the same time he will have to be tight. If Pujara is in the best five batsmen of the team he will play, if not he doesn't. I am sure he will make a comeback at some point, especially if we are playing only four bowlers," Shastri added.