India coach Ravi Shastri said his team wants to be the best touring side in the world after winning the third Test at Trent Bridge against England by 203 runs.
Shastri lauded an all-round performance from the Indian team in all departments as the visitors reduced the series deficit to 2-1 with two more Tests to play.
“In the four years I’ve been doing this job, I think if you look at a clinical performance overseas, I think this has to be the best,” Shatsri said.
“The endeavour of this team is to be the best travelling team in the world.”
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The 18-year-old opener has registered seven centuries in his 14 first-class matches to date and captained India Under-19s to World Cup glory earlier this year. Shaw joins fellow batsman Hanuma Vihari in the squad, with opener Murali Vijay and left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav dropping out.
From #U19CWC winning captain to the India Test squad in just over 6 months - congratulations @PrithviShaw! 🙌— ICC (@ICC) August 22, 2018
Revisit his 94 against Australia in January that got his side off to the perfect start to their victorious campaign in New Zealand! 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/AdAnVtyNyb
Vijay was absent from India’s 203-run victory at Trent Bridge, which narrowed the series deficit to 2-1, after making a pair in the second Test at Lord’s.
Kuldeep, a key figure in India’s limited-overs sides, similarly failed to score a run across two innings at the Home of cricket and was nonthreatening with the ball.
Seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is another notable omission from the squad, having missed the first three Tests with a back injury.
India squad for the fourth and fifth Tests : Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Karun Nair, Hanuma Vihari, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ravi Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur.
India’s fast bowlers took 19 out of 20 England wickets in Nottingham before off-spinner Ravi Ashwin finished the match 10 minutes into Wednesday’s fifth and final day by dismissing James Anderson.
India, who have relied heavily on spinners over the years, now have a potent pace attack. At Trent Bridge, all-rounder Hardik Pandya took 5-28 in England’s first innings while fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah snared 5-85 in second.
Moreover, India’s best seam bowler – Bhuvneshwar Kumar – is injured and yet to play a Test this series.
When asked if this is India’s best ever pace attack, AFP quoted Shastri as saying: “By a mile, by a mile. No (other India) team comes even close.”
Bumrah bowled a marathon 26 overs on Tuesday, which is remarkable as this was his first competitive match since suffering a thumb injury in a Twenty20 against Ireland in Dublin on June 27.
“He is different, he is like when (Lasith) Malinga came on the scene or a Mitchell Johnson,” said Shastri of the 24-year-old Bumrah, who played his first Test against South Africa in Cape Town in January.
“He has that element of surprise. With that long spell he surprised us as well – almost 30 overs in that one innings, for someone who has not played for a month and a half is commendable.”
India have won just one of their six previous series outside of Asia – against West Indies. But Shastri insists his team can be a force abroad.
“In the four years I’ve been doing this job, I think if you look at a clinical performance overseas, I think this has to be the best. When you look at all three departments, they stood up. As a batting unit, as a catching unit and as a bowling unit, so you can’t ask for more.
“The endeavour of this team is to be the best travelling team in the world. And I believe they’re almost there. In India, we know what we can do. Especially if we play in conditions that suit us, very few teams will have a sniff.
“But to go to South Africa, England, Australia and try and win there, that’s the endeavour of this team and they have it in them.”