Ravi Shastri isn't new to Twitter trolls. This time around, the Indian coach has been taken to the cleaners on the micro-blogging site for elaborating on Ravindra Jadeja's fitness status, which served as a justification for the all-rounder's absence from the Indian playing XI for the Perth Test against Australia. When asked about Jadeja's exclusion, Ravi Shastri had said, "Jadeja had taken an injection four days after coming to Australia because of some stiffness in his shoulder. It took a while for that injection to settle down. At Perth, we felt he was about 70 to 80 per cent fit, and we didn't want to risk him. If he is 80% fit here, he'll play.”
Here's how Twitter reacted to Shastri's remarks during the presser at the Melbourne Cricket Ground:
They come up with an excellent excuse after every defeat. Why was Jadeja taken of he was carrying an injury? Kuldeep is taken to warm up the benches if both the front line spinners are unavailable? https://t.co/cedBbdmKjr— Avinash Sharma (@avinashrcsharma) December 23, 2018
If Jadeja wasn't 100 percent fit for Perth Test, why was he in the 13 and not Kuldeep Yadav? From @cricketwallah— Imran (@imranbota24) December 23, 2018
Unfit Jadeja was doing fielding as a sub, what a terrible excuse to defend selection.— Sunil Singh (@Sunil_1984_) December 23, 2018
Kuldeep is there for sight-seeing.
Coach and captain are busy in show off one issue macho statements other wreck havoc on field.
So called Coach shastri said that jadeja was not even 80% fit to play the Perth test.— (@madhu7781) December 23, 2018
If that's the reason then why was he always on the field as the 12th man, shouldn't he rest ?
Lame excuse .
Such a Coward coach can't accept own fault #AUSvIND
"Are We Blind" ? Ravi Shastri to save his Skin Said That non Choosing Ravindra Jadeja ,He is 70% Fit Only. As we all Know That Ravindra Jadeja Gone to Australia after Taking Wickets In Recent Ranji Matches. KKRao pic.twitter.com/Hw6IqMspj2— k kumar rao (@kkrao3107K) December 23, 2018
During the press conference, Ravi Shastri also demanded his opening batsmen step up and ease the pressure on Kohli. India go into the Boxing Day showdown with Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara is fine form, effectively carrying their team during the Adelaide and Perth games.
But the opening pair of KL Rahul and Murali Vijay have struggled for runs and Shastri said that needed to change.
"It's a big concern," he said when asked about the failure of the openers to get a big score.
"It's obvious and that responsibility and accountability has to be taken by the top order.
"They've got the experience, they've got the exposure over these last few years to get out there and deliver. It's about how strong you are in the mind."
There is no guarantee that Rahul and Vijay will retain their places with in-form Mayank Agarwal called up to the squad as a replacement for injured Prithvi Shaw, who has been ruled out of the series.
Shastri also denied India's morale had taken a hit by losing in Perth after their tense victory in Adelaide - their first Test win on Australian soil in a decade.
"Absolutely not. 1-1 in a series in Australia and we know we had our chances in Perth as well. They're ready," he said.
"It's not often that we've been in a position where we've won one (on an overseas tour). It's 1-1. The boys know what they can do, what they're capable of and the potential that lies ahead," Shastri concluded.
India won the first Test in Adelaide by 31 runs but lost in Perth by 146 runs. The four-match series is currently tied at 1-1 with the third Test set to begin on Wednesday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.