Colombo, Aug 17: Notwithstanding India's shock defeat in the first Test against Sri Lanka, Team Director Ravi Shastri today made it clear that the team will not change its style of play in the remaining 2 Tests, saying the endeavour has always been to play "fearless cricket".
He said India lost the match because they brought pressure on themselves and it was just a matter of winning one match to get the team rolling. In an extraordinary twist in Galle, India capitulated to an embarrassing 63-run defeat against the islanders, who scripted one of the most remarkable turnarounds in recent Test history. (Shikhar out of series)
"We won't change our style of play. It will be exactly like how it was in the first match. We made one mistake (in the first game). Of course to close it out we will have to walk the distance... till the end," Shastri told reporters here. (Will Kohli take note of Dravid's message?)
Asked if the team was under pressure, the former captain responded in negative. "It was not a question of buckling under pressure. They sensed the pitch could deteriorate. The pressure was brought on. My general feeling is that if they can get one (victory) on the board it will be the start of many," he said, stressing on the need to have one good win under their belt.
Set a tricky victory target of 176, the listless Indians surrendered tamely to be skittled out for their lowest score of 112 in just 49.5 over to give the islanders a 1-0 lead in the series last week.
"They go out with intent. The endeavour of this team is to play fearless cricket that comes with mindset. These boys have enough talent, I an sure they must have thought after the match why I didn't play this shot, why I didn't play in this manner." ('Sangakkara equal with Bradman')
'Kohli will learn'
Skipper Virat Kohli's handling of 3 spinners and the bowling changes in the match have come under the scanner but Shastri threw his weight behind the captain.
"Kohli will learn. The more you play, the more you learn. It is not often that India play with three spinners. (Ravichandran) Ashwin was brilliant throughout the match but you needed others also."
It was a dramatic performance from the hosts who came back from the dead after conceding a massive 192-run first innings lead to turn the table on the Indians who had themselves to blame for the debacle.
This meant centurions Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Ashwin's (10-wicket match haul) efforts went in vain.