After India registered their maiden Test series victory in Australia, coach Ravi Shastri took on the critics in his typical gung-ho style.
The former India cricketer — speaking in defence of Virat Kohli and Co who have courted a lot of criticism for their failures in South Africa and England — said after India's historic win that the blanks fired by critics from miles away are "blown away by the wind like a tracer bullet".
Now in an interview with Times of India, the 56-year-old veteran has said that some critics want to pull the "team down".
“There are people who’ve only wanted to criticise this team, taking continuous jibes,” Shastri told TOI. “Social media is fine, you get all sorts and none of that matters as long as you do what you have to do and do it right. But there are people who have simply wanted to pull this team down and mind you, some have not been very subtle about it either. That’s why I said what I said in the press conference after the Sydney Test."
“Before my first stint with the team, India were number five or something (in Tests). The last three years they’ve been number one and that’s going to be the case for some time now. Those who want to keep abusing and ranting can continue doing that. Sooner or later, they’ll understand they don’t matter," Shastri added.
On the ODI series against Australia, which begins on 12 January, Shashtri said the focus is on getting the squad right instead of the result.
“The World Cup is the only thing on our minds now. Mentally, we're already switching from red (ball) to white,” Shastri said, before adding that the team will use the ODI series to "fine-tune things."
Speaking about the upcoming IPL, Shastri said he will be more involved than usual. He shared that his focus will be on monitoring the fitness of Indian players and also that the team management is in touch with BCCI to better manage the players during the T20 league.