India’s team director Ravi Shastri on Wednesday called on the side’s under-performing batsmen to raise their game in the ICC World Twenty20 semifinal against West Indies, saying the hosts can’t rely on one or two individuals at this stage of the tournament.
Shastri hoped that batsmen such as Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina, after an indifferent run, step up and show their mettle at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.
“I still believe we have played only 70 per cent to our abilities in this tournament. There are still areas where we can improve. Let’s hope it happens tomorrow,” Shastri said at the match-eve media conference.
“In a semifinal you got to get your A game in. You can’t depend on one or two players, you need 6-7 players to step up to the plate. It has not happened so far in this tournament.
Let’s hope it happens tomorrow.”
The former captain was referring to the misfiring top-order, barring Virat Kohli who has been outstanding.
Effusive in his praise for Kohli’s unbeaten 82 against Australia in the quarterfinal at Mohali, Shastri said the Delhi stalwart turned around his fortunes through sheer hard work after an indifferent show in England in 2014.
“It was outstanding innings, one of the best you will ever see in T20 cricket, considering the occasion, the pressure. The kind of crickting shots he played was unbelievable.
“I had absolutely no doubt when I took on the job, seeing the form he was in, knowing fully well that he will be back on track. It was just case of mind over matter. You got to give
him the credit for really believing that he can be right up there with the best and putting in the hard yards.
“No one trains harder than Virat. If he’s as successful as he has been over the last 18 months, credit must be given to him for putting that much of hard work and believing in his
Shastri said the team will miss injured Yuvraj Singh, both as a batsman and bowler, and will have a good look at the net session today before deciding on who will be his replacement in the playing XI.
“It will have an impact. He’s had his moment and I thought his three overs were brilliant in the last game (against Australia) that really put the checks and brakes on the scoring and allowed us to come back into the contest.
“After the first four overs (when Australia had raced to 53 for no loss) it was a no contest. At one stage it looked that (target for India would be) 200 or 200-plus which would have been very difficult to chase on that pitch.