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‘Bio-bubble gave us options, helped players get to know each other’

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Ahmedabad, March 7 : India head coach Ravi Shastri on Sunday credited life in a bio-bubble for the Indian Test team having multiple options for each position and also cocked a snook at the inconsistent World Test Championship points system that almost cost the team a place in the final.
“That (having 2-3 players for each spot) is the most positive thing to come out of the bubble. Because of the bubble, you had to go with large squads. Normally, you’d go with 17-18 but because of the bubble and quarantine, you had to go with 25-30 or even 35 in certain cases. As a result of which, you had to pick your best 30 players,” Shastri told reporters a day after India beat England 3-1 in a four-match Test series, thus confirming a spot for themselves in the World Test Championship final.
“As luck would have it we were left with no choice but to play each 30, and you found out who is good and who is not. It is a good headache to have. You would have never imagined that so many players would play Test matches in the last six months. If you would have thought Natarajan would have played Test cricket, people would have said no, (Washington) Sundar couldn’t have played. These are the things you couldn’t have imagined,” said Shastri.
Reiterating the point made by spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, Shastri said that team bonding increased in the bio-bubble.
“What the bubble has done is made players meet each other more often. When you meet more often, somewhere down the line the conversations regarding the game are like what used to happen in our day. We would be sitting in the dressing room and talk. I think the best thing that has happened is talking to each other. They had no choice and were forced to do it. They got to understand each other, their backgrounds, mental state, where they come from, where they are in life. It allowed them to become more open to their colleagues and discuss personal issues more freely. Win more trust from team members. There are a lot of positives because of the bubble,” added Shastri.
Shastri said that this team has done something unprecedented considering the circumstances created by the Covid-19 pandemic and the strict quarantine rules. India have played eight Test matches against Australia and England in 70 days and won both the series.


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