Team India’s nightmare of test series against hosts England finally came to an end with yet another loss in the final encounter of the tour at The Oval to end the series 1-4. The outcome of the series came as a huge shock to the BCCI as well as most of the Indian fans while others believe that the scoreline does not reflect the fighting spirit shown by the players. Several players as well as the majority of the support staff, including Team India Head Coach Ravi Shastri, were subject to criticism from several quarters with the results not being achieved at the end of the day.
Team India Head Coach Ravi Shastri however has a different perspective of the way things have spanned out in the series. The veteran believes that India did not lose the series to the England team, but to the 20 year old Sam Curran. The 56 year old believes that it was the youngster’s undisputed efforts which were the difference between the two sides in the series and had taken the hosts over the line on multiple occasions.
Sam Curran, 20 years of age, playing only his second test series, showed excellent courage and maturity with both bat and ball. The youngster amassed 272 runs and picked up 11 wickets in the four games he played in the series.
Curran’s wickets and runs at crucial junctures of the game turned the match completely on its head and the visitors ended up losing on each occasion after being at the driver’s seat for majority of the test match. The 20 year old ended up winning the joint maiden man of the series award alongside Indian captain Virat Kohli in only his second test series. England lost the solitary test match in which Curran did not play, which goes to show the impact that the youngster had in the series.
“I would not say (we) failed badly. But we tried. We must give credit where it is due. Virat and me were asked to pick the Man of the Series (for England) and we both picked Sam Curran. Look where Curran has scored, and, that is where he hurt us. More than England, it was Curran who hurt us,” Team India head coach Ravi Shastri spoke in an interview with ESPN Cricinfo.
“In the first Test, England were 87 for 7 (in the second innings) at Edgbaston, he (Curran) got the runs. In the fourth Test, they were 86 for 6 (first innings) in Southampton, he got the runs. We were 50 for 0 (first innings) at Edgbaston, he got the wickets. So at crucial stages in this series, he chipped in with runs and wickets. That was the difference between the two sides,” Shastri added, pointing to the various instances in which India let the game slip away from their hands courtesy of the England all-rounder.