No team travels well nowadays, why pick on India, questions Shastri


"Hopefully, he will get fit soon and if fast bowlers do well, we might not miss him then", the former all-rounder said.

"I think they should enjoy bowling on these pitches if they are the pitches like we've seen in the past". But the Indians have spoken about the primacy of Test cricket more than once in recent times, and seeing the performances in South Africa and England, where India lost despite pushing hard, that series becomes the focus. I think once you have a sporting culture in you, you will always have that. "When you are good at what you do, and if you do it consistently, it doesn't matter which side you're playing for, that cricketer will do well and so will the team".

The Indians are in Australia for a long tour - the first of three Twenty20 Internationals is on 21 November, followed by four Test matches, and finally the three-match one-day global series, which ends on 18 January. Even now we have got to think twice.

Many observers feel that in the absence of David Warner, Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith, the Australians are off their best and India have their best chance of winning a Test series in the country. I think Pat Cummins is outstanding and Josh Hazlewood is nearly McGrath like with his methodic, repetitious bowling. There's one or two guys in each team around the world that we as a team discuss before playing against them.

"We might have three or four players not playing when a team comes to India but God forbid if anyone says it is a weak Indian team because you will be surprised".

"There are guys like that in worldwide cricket (who enjoy the confrontation)".

"We will be taking no prisoners but are focusing on our game rather than what is happening outside".

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Shastri did not believe the hosts' new, polite approach would affect his skipper.

"He won't take his foot off the gas that is for sure", Shastri warned.

"He loves coming to Australia, he's passionate about his game and the pitches here suit his style of play".

During the training session, the players went through their paces to get used to the conditions having played in the heat recently at home against West Indies.

They lost 2-1 in Tests to South Africa and were then outplayed in England 4-1.

"There were some very tight Test matches and we lost some big moments badly which cost us the series".

"It could have been just an hour in a session over four days which made all the difference - you have to learn from that".