'Ravi Shastri gave us the confidence'

'Ravi Shastri gave us the confidence'

 Having scored a match-winning 75-ball-100 against England in the second ODI, Suresh Raina attributed his success to Team Director Ravi Shastri’s pre-match pep talk, which urged him to go out and express himself.

“Ravi Shastri gave us a lot of confidence. He came in the team meeting and said a few words to the team which were very inspiring. He was also sitting with me in the bus when we were on our way to the stadium and he told me, ‘khadoos khelna hai ‘(play a stubborn game),” Raina told bcci.tv after his blistering century.

After India’s disastrous showing in the Tests, the BCCI had appointed Shastri as the Team Director, prompting speculation over head coach Duncan Fletcher’s future.

There have been conflicting statements over who remains in charge -- Shastri, Fletcher or captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni -- but Raina said the team environment was “very good” and that Shastri’s appointment was already proving beneficial.

“There is a different comfort level when you talk to a former Indian player; you can be free and honest. All the other coaches have been very supportive as well but Ravi Shastri set the tone for us and instilled confidence in the team,” Raina stated.

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