Ravi Shastri compares India's batting to 'smooth-running Ferrari'

Updated: Oct 23, 2019, 11:31 IST | PTI | Ranchi

Head coach Ravi Shastri can't praise new opener Rohit Sharma enough as hosts inflict 3-0 whitewash on hapless South Africans in Ranchi

India opener Rohit Sharma celebrates his double century against South Africa in Ranchi on Sunday. Pics /PTI
India opener Rohit Sharma celebrates his double century against South Africa in Ranchi on Sunday. Pics /PTI

Ranchi: An exultant India coach Ravi Shastri yesterday said Rohit Sharma has shown himself to be of different class in the newly-acquired role of a Test opener, acclimatising exceptionally well to the challenges posed by the position. India wrapped a 3-0 whitewash of South Africa by winning the third and final Test by an innings and 202 runs on the morning of Day Four here.

"Ajinkya Rahane was always there in the middle order, he only needed to rediscover, which he did himself. Rohit is different class. As an opener he needed to have a different mindset, he acclimatised. It was a difficult pitch to start with but usne jhela," Shastri told official broadcaster 'Star Sports' at the end of the match. "He has it in him to be unfazed by difficult conditions. What he has done in this series is tremendous," he added.

Shastri lauded the mindset of the team, which he said, is never perturbed by the conditions it encounters whether at home or abroad.

Like a Ferrari: Shastri

Ravi ShastriRavi Shastri

"Our philosophy has been bhaad mein gaya pitch [to hell with the pitch]. We need to take 20 wickets and it doesn't matter if it's Mumbai, Auckland, Melbourne, anywhere. Once we have taken those 20 wickets, our batting, once it gets going is like smooth-running Ferrari," he quipped. "When you have five bowlers who can take 20 wickets, bas that's what matters," he added. India dominated from start to finish in the series with their top batsmen getting runs in abundance and bowlers striking at will against a South African team severely short on experience and confidence.

'Cheers, young man'

Shastri singled out left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, who made his debut at 30 in the final Test here and took four wickets. "Extremely impressed. Yesterday when he got his first wicket, I was saying 'If Bishan Singh Bedi was watching, he would've said 'cheers young man'. It was a spinner's delight. To watch it from the outside was classical," he said.

"[He has] 420 plus wickets [in domestic cricket], the guy has put in the yards, about time he gets the distance. Glad he finished off the game. In front of his home crowd...what was remarkable was the way he started.

'Credit goes to Rohit for overcoming anxiety'

Virat KohliVirat Kohli

Skipper Virat Kohli feels that no one but Rohit Sharma alone "deserves credit" for overcoming "anxiety and hesitation" while performing commendably in his new role as an opener, giving India enough time to take 20 South African wickets in the 3-0 Test series sweep.

Rohit turned out to be a revelation as opener with scores of 176 and 127 in the first Test and 212 in the third Test. The team management's stand that he could be a game-changer in the longest format stood vindicated. "Credit solely goes to the player for the way he overcame his anxiety and hesitation and performed in such a manner that he was adjudged Man-of-the-Series in the first series as an opener. It's been outstanding for him," Kohli was effusive in praise for his white-ball deputy.

"There is always an anticipation on how would you perform as an opener in Test cricket, as he has been the world's best opener in ODI cricket for a long time. Despite missing close to two sessions because of rain, his pace in the batting gave us so much of time to bowl them out twice," he said.

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