Australia vs India 2018-19, Boxing Day Test

Wednesday, 26 Dec, 2018

Shastri didn't take any names but in his inimitable style rubbished all criticism, making it evident that he has not taken it too well.

"When you're millions of miles way, it's easy to fire blanks", Shastri said.

He observed, "If you have great pitches you'll have a contest between bat and ball and then Test cricket will be alive and well".

In the remaining two Tests, it is advisable that Kohli first secure the trophy before cocking a snook at the opposition, media or whoever the Indian management feels is against them.

"Mr Jadeja's left shoulder has continued to improve and he is now available for the 3rd Test match of the series in Melbourne", the BCCI said in a statement. "Especially when we are overseas, the bowlers have been taking 20 wickets since South Africa, so if the batsmen help the bowlers the results will be favouring us". He was talking about India going 2-0 ahead at the halfway stage of the second Test. I love it (aggression), why not? Obviously, day one is the most anticipated day and we are expecting a lot of people to come in, maybe 80,000-plus.

While Kohli gave a batting masterclass on a challenging track in Perth, Cheteshwar Pujara had played a decisive role in team's win Adelaide but other batsmen have not contributed much unlike bowlers, who have picked 40 wickets in four innings. When asked about Virat's behavior, Shastri mentioned that there was nothing wrong about it.

But while Kohli has been painted as the villain in a scintillating series so far, the Indian captain said the war would be won on skills, not one-liners. Responsibility and accountability have to be taken by the top order. "When he came here, he felt some stiffness, and he felt that in India as well but he played domestic cricket after that", Shastri said.

Mayank Agarwal and Hardik Pandya are expected to be drafted in the playing XI at Melbourne. "He's an outstanding player, he's been our captain, he's a fantastic young bloke". He has got loads of runs for India "A". If you have any doubt over this, watch him perform on a cricket field.

Either way, Kohli said it was important for visiting batsmen to steel themselves for conditions similar to the fierce pace and bounce produced in Perth. We knew we had our chances there in Perth as well, so we are ready. He is in good form after India A series so naturally he got selected.

Many commentators were baffled India had overlooked left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja - a situation Shastri wanted to clear up on Sunday when he revealed the all-rounder had been battling soreness after having an injection in his shoulder. "The boys know what they can do, what they are capable of and what potential lies again", he concluded.