New Delhi - India coach Ravi Shastri took a swipe at the team's critics
after his team arrived home from their tour to South Africa, saying even people
in his own country want to see the team lose.
The Asian side lost the first two Tests of the three-match
series before a consolation win on a difficult pitch at the Wanderers seemed to
spur the team to greater heights.
India then thumped the Proteas 5-1 in the ODIs before
clinching the T20I series after winning the last game at Newlands on Saturday
in what was the subcontinent side's most successful tour to South Africa.
Upon their arrival back in Mumbai, Shastri told the Mid-Day
publication: "We always believed we could win. Very few people saw it, but
we could have won both those games.
"Sometimes you feel in your country, people are happy
when you lose. We pulled out a calculation where we looked at sessions and we
were just two sessions behind and those cost us two Test matches.
"I said, take the positives out of that and go into the
next Test match to win - not to draw - to win. Not many teams would have batted
first on that (Johannesburg) track. It was a nasty one."
The Proteas lost the services of a core of senior players
for the limited-overs portion of the tour.
Skipper Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock
were all ruled out at some stage, giving the hosts plenty of headaches,
especially in the batting department.
Shastri though had another go people that suggested that
India had it easy because the hosts were without some of their best players.
The India coach went on: "This is the biggest problem
with our critics. When you win, the other team is not playing well. When you
win in Sri Lanka, they are a weak team. When you play South Africa, they are
not at their best.
"Remember, a team is only as good as you allow it to
be. It's as simple as that. No one says the Indian team were not at their best
when we lose.
"No Indian says that. When we lose, we lose. Ah, but
when another team lose, they were not at their best.
"I can't fathom and I don't have an answer for that. By
the way, we are not playing players, we are playing a country so I don't care
what is on offer.
"I am playing against South Africa. Who plays for South
Africa is not my problem."
Shastri and his team are next in action in a T20 tri-series
tournament in Sri Lanka, starting next week, that will also involve Bangladesh.