India Were "Justified To Do What They Did": Ravi Shastri On 5th Test vs England Being Postponed In 2021
Former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri explained why India were "justified" in what they did last year while talking about the postponed Test against England.
The rescheduled fifth Test between India and England got underway on Friday at Edgbaston, Birmingham. At stumps on Day 1, India's score read 338/7 after a brilliant fightback by Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja that saw the former scoring 146 runs off just 111 balls. At one stage, India were 98/5, but Jadeja and Pant put a 222-run stand for the 6th wicket. The fifth Test was rescheduled after the final game last year had to be pushed back after a few positive COVID-19 cases within the Indian camp.
Ravi Shastri, who was the coach of the Indian team till November last year, has explained why India were "justified" in what they did last year.
"See, at that time, it is very easy to jump the gun and say go out there and play. But there were a lot of players with young families. The word on COVID was not a 100 per cent certain coming from anywhere. Anyone could have gotten it, if someone would have got it in the middle of a Test match, then that would have been even worse. As opposed to now, where that fear factor of getting COVID and being isolated is not the same. People know that they have to get on with it, if that mindset was there earlier and it could not have been there eight months ago because even the authorities did not know if they had the right to say that get on with it, nothing is going to happen, it's just a flu," Shastri told Sky Sports on Friday.
"Today people say it is just a flu, get on with it, no matter what happens. At that point of time, they were justified to do what they did because of the mindset. Today if that happens, the game has to move on. Even then, I wasn't in the dressing room but I tell you, I had half the mindset of probably thinking what you were thinking of getting the reserves out there and finish this series. But it was a tough one, had anyone tested positive during the Test match, it would have been a big problem," he added.
Last year, India had taken a 2-1 series lead after winning Tests at Lord's and Oval.
If India manage to win or draw the ongoing Edgbaston Test, then they would win the series in UK for the first time since 2007.
Coincidentally, in 2007, the now head coach Rahul Dravid was the captain of the Indian team.
Talking about the series that got underway last year, Shastri said: "I think it was a fabulous series. I think the entertainment that was provided by both teams was fabulous to see. When you have couple of Test matches going into the 5th day and you have a result on the 5th day, it is fabulous to see."
"Lord's, Oval and England bouncing back at Leeds. Unfortunate, it could not be completed for obvious reasons, COVID what it was eight months ago, the mindset of the players as opposed to the way they treat it now, it is chalk and cheese. But I am glad that this series would end here," he added.