India-South Africa Test series is the best in last 10 years: Ravi Shastri

Mohali, Nov 3: Calling the Wankhede Stadium pitch fiasco "history", Team India Director Ravi Shastri today said home teams over the years have always got pitches prepared to suit their strengths and there is no need to "hide behind that issue".

Ind-SA Test series schedule

As India gear up to take on No.1 Test side South Africa in the four-match series starting November 5, Shastri said that the rubber promises to produce quality cricket.

File photo: Kohli (left) and Shastri

"I believe at home you should play to your strength, there is no need to hide behind that issue. It has been happening over the years and that's what you expect in your own country. You don't expect a pitch to turn on Day 1 when you go to South Africa or Australia. So it will be interesting to see how this pitch is," Shastri said while addressing the media at PCA stadium.

"Having said that I see a terrific series on our hands, probably the best we have had in the last 10 years. That's because of the cricket that South Africa have played in the last few years," the former all-rounder said.

Shastri though refused to comment on the pitched battle between him and Wankhede's curator Sudhir Naik during the final ODI. The visitors amassed 438 before outplaying India by 214 runs and clinching the five-match series 3-2.

Shastri had apparently made a sarcastic comment about the pitch, while Naik said the former captain abused him and the matter was taken up by the MCA.

"The incident is history, let's talk about now. I have spoken about that enough and there is nothing to add and not a word to subtract," Shastri said.

India come into the series at the back of a historic Test series win in Sri Lanka, which came after 22 years. Test skipper Virat Kohli, who enjoyed his first series win as captain there, is once again in the spotlight and Shastri was all praise for the young leader.

"Kohli has been the Test captain for long enough. He is going along beautifully, The Sri Lankan win was a test of character for the boys and for him as well and he rose to the occasion. And he will only learn. As I said that this side's average age is 25-26, captain is also around that age and this team has plenty of years ahead of them," he said.

"The best thing that is happening to them is that they are up against the best Test side in the world. So it's good to play the best team in the world, so that's when you learn the maximum because you are exposed to the team who is very good," he added.


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